WHAT DO WE NEED?

How do we make Seymour better?

That’s the question on the minds of city officials and community leaders as they begin to work on the state’s new Hometown Collaborative Initiative.

Seymour was one of six Hoosier communities selected in January to take part in the program which is designed to help small communities plan and implement strategies for improvement. Other communities participating include Corydon, Lebanon, Perry County, Pulaski County and Rush County/Rushville.

One of the first steps in the HCI process is to find out what local residents think about their hometown and what changes they would like to see made.

Through a public survey, now available, and a community forum scheduled for next month, those involved are seeking input from residents on three specific areas — quality of life in Seymour, the local economy and leadership.

“Hearing from our community is really important,” Mayor Craig Luedeman said.

The survey can be completed online at indianahci.org/seymour or a paper version can be picked up at the Seymour library or the New Hope Service WIC office, located in the Community Agency Building in downtown Seymour.

Residents have until April 17 to fill out and submit the HCI survey and should only complete it once.

Another way people can complete the survey is to use their smartphones to scan QR codes that will be posted at local businesses and on table tents at restaurants.

The survey results will be studied by the HCI committee and will be used to identify projects to launch this year.

Those projects will be based on the challenges the city faces and also its strengths, Luedeman said.

Tonja Couch, executive director of Jackson County United Way, also is involved with the HCI committee and another new group called Vision 2025, which is made up of young professionals wanting to make a positive and lasting impact on the community over the next decade.

“We need residents to share their ideas about what Seymour needs in order to plan for our future,” she said.

Vision 2025 is focusing on enhancing the culture and appearance of Seymour, expanding education and economic opportunity, revitalizing the downtown, strengthening and sustaining community resources and communication and promoting health.

Dr. Nate Otte, a local optometrist and leader of Vision 2025, said the Hometown Collaborative Initiative works hand in hand with the goals and plans of Vision 2025.

“We are continuing to work to determine what resources Seymour needs to achieve our community vision,” Otte said. “HCI will serve as an opportunity to begin to turn Vision 2025 from a vision to a reality.”

Seymour residents will have the opportunity to learn more about the Seymour HCI survey results, Vision 2025 and share their opinions during a community forum at 4:30 p.m. May 7 at Seymour City Hall.

To learn more about these initiatives and to get involved, visit indianahci.org/seymour.

At a glance

Through a public survey now available and a community forum scheduled for next month, the Hometown Collaborative Initiative is seeking input from residents on three specific areas: quality of life in Seymour, the local economy and leadership.

The survey can be completed online at www.indianaHCI.org/Seymour or a paper version can be picked up at the Seymour Library or the New Hope Service WIC office, located in the Community Agency Building in downtown Seymour.

Residents have until April 17 to fill out and submit the HCI survey and should only complete it once.

Another way people can complete the survey is to use their smart phones to scan QR codes that will be posted at local businesses and on table tents at restaurants.

Seymour residents will have the opportunity to learn more about the Seymour HCI survey results and share their opinions during a community forum at 4:30 p.m. May 7 at Seymour City Hall.

To learn more about these initiatives and to get involved, visit www.indianaHCI.org/Seymour.

Author photo
January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.