The City Commission is dedicated to maintaining the small-town appeal of Union while managing the city’s rapid growth. The population has climbed from a mere 233 people in 1970 to 7,416 people in 2020. Aligned with city values and successful management, the Commission has identified ten key areas of focus with targeted timelines.
- Town Center
- Public Works expansion
- Parks & recreation
- Wayfinding signs
- Gateway and entry signs
- Multipurpose municipal center
- Small business development center
- Historical district plan
- Public participation in city planning
- Land acquisition
The Union Town Center, Public Works, and a Sense of Place were identified as the priority, broad level strategic initiatives. The additional 7 focus areas fall into one or more of the top initiatives.
|City of Union Strategic Initiatives (5-Year Plan)|
|TOWN CENTER||PUBLIC WORKS||SENSE OF PLACE|
|Property Acquisition||Public Works Director||City Signs|
|0-3 years||0-3 years||0-2 years|
|Concept Development||Infrastructure Development||Historical District Study|
|0-6 months||3-5 years||1-2 years|
UNION TOWN CENTER
The City Commission and residents of Union desire a central gathering place, also referred to as a Town Center. The original plans for this concept, created over 20 years ago, do not factor in the current landscape of the city. As a result, a reassessment of the initial vision and a new concept plan is needed to move forward.
As a top priority, the Commission has outlined multiple steps that must be taken for the development of a Town Center. One, property acquisition which includes the consideration of size, price, and funding sources, has to be secured. The city actively seeks developers that share the vision for a community gathering space, as well as landowners. In addition, the development of an updated concept plan is needed. Ideas such as a multipurpose center, a gathering place/park, and public participation space are being explored.
The expansion of Public Works service to City of Union residents includes the hiring of a Public Works Director. A recent analysis of the history and projected costs for street repairs alone provides insight to future maintenance demands of the growing city. The Public Works Director would be responsible for overseeing all functions such as land/lawn maintenance, snow removal, pot holes, street repairs, and more. In support, a garage, vehicle, and other equipment will be needed.
SENSE OF PLACE
A “Sense of Place” encompasses how Union is perceived. It’s a feeling of personal connection achieved through the cultivation of space that honors the past and stands apart in the present. Union is equally unique as it is welcoming. A Sense of Place umbrellas a historical district study to help define this area and a small business center/opportunity area. In addition, the need for wayfinding signs, city entry signs, as well as a welcoming city gateway sign have been identified. Finally, the prioritization of more parks and green spaces are part of this initiative.