Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, May 28, 2001

Waverly gets grant for community vision

By Lynda Jensen

If the community of Waverly is looking into the future, it just got handed a pair of $10,000 binoculars.

The "binoculars" are actually a two-year grant worth $10,000, given on behalf of the Initiative Foundation, which is a non-profit organization serving Wright County.

The grant's purpose is to train Waverly community leaders in community development, targeting three things:

· to achieve economic vitality

· to protect natural resources

· to protect the well being of all citizens through active civic participation, said Jim Vrchota, who is involved in the grant process.

The grant is called a "Health Communities Partnership," Vrchota said.

This development vision is different than one that would be formed by a business or city organization, since it represents an independent organization that draws people from every walk of life, instead of being limited to business circles, he said.

This allows the grant to communicate with average citizens, such as the elderly, than those who are normally associated with business, Vrchota said.

To this end, more than 20 people met to discuss the grant March 21, including representatives from the Knights of Columbus, the Montrose-Waverly Chamber of Commerce, St. Mary's Church, the American Legion and the Legion Auxiliary, the Economic Development Association and planning and zoning, Vrchota said.

The City of Waverly passed a resolution during its meeting May 8 to approve the Health Communities concept.

The first meeting, for information purposes, was meant to begin the process of creating a community development team, Vrchota said.

Further meetings will be planned, which will allow the group to form a vision about Waverly's future, Vrchota said.

The planning stages will lay the groundwork for composing a vision statement for Waverly, Vrchota said.

A meeting in the fall will allow the vision statement to be put into motion, he said.

Those interested in joining the community development team, or speaking with committee members, should call (763) 658-4417 and ask for Jim Vrchota.

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