Cedar Rapids area leaders asked for ideas on improving the quality of life and they’ve received heaps of suggestions from residents. Dan Baldwin, president of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, says they expected maybe a thousand responses — and got 35-hundred. Baldwin says once the access was granted and folks were given the feeling they could have a credible role in the process, many people showed they were “eager to be part of positive change.” The program is called “15 in 5” and narrowed down the list of hundreds of ideas to 15 key projects to be implemented within five years. Baldwin says the process is already well underway as some 350 people have volunteered to help make the 15 ideas reality. 30 people have been identified to provide the initial leadership for each idea. Baldwin says they have a deadline of mid-October to come back with a timeline of critical goals and an outline on how their process will work. The top 15 ideas were announced in May. The list of projects includes: a light rail connection between Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Amana, a recreational trail connection those cites, expanding Highway 30 from Ames to Clinton and creating a 2-1-1 “First Call For Help” program for meeting the needs of children, seniors and others.
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