The Richmond City Council looked into economic development possibilities this week.

A representative from Zimmer Real Estate Services gave a presentation at a work session on Monday. He discussed possibilities for Richmond’s future with Council.

Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade speak with Vice President and Director of Public Sector Consulting Troy Nash:

Troy Nash

Zimmer hopes to craft a realistic proposal that will help move the area forward. “What we are attempting to do here is to create an Economic Development Strategic Plan. One that’s based in reality, not a bunch of pie-in-the-sky kind of activity that you see in many of these plans,” said Nash, “But really craft a plan with teeth that focuses on the things that they think are important. For example, if they are interested in certain industries, and would be interested in us pursuing those industries as a result of our planning efforts, that’s something that we’ll do.

The company’s company’s first move would be to listen to elected community representatives. “Then we go out and we do these broad-based community conversations, where we engage the public where they are. Then we ask them, ‘How do you feel about your community?’ And if you ask them the right way, they’ll tell you. And then we do a series of stakeholder interviews. All those that have vested interested in the City moving forward, we ask them, ‘What is that if you could create a perfect world, that you’d like to see happen here in Richmond?’ And then we work to bring that to a reality by talking with them. And so, that’s how the process starts.”

Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade speak with City Administrator Ron Brohammer:

Ron Brohammer

“They will visit with people who they think are entrepreneurs, who are risk-takers. They will look at opportunities within the City of Richmond and within the area. Really in all of Ray County, but within our confines, they’ll take a look at our school and probably work with the administrator at the school, the Superintendent,” said Brohammer, “And it’s just really a broad-brush look at what opportunities and capabilities are within the City of Richmond.”

Brohammer would like to see the plan bring more job opportunities to Richmond.

“Whether that be small businesses with two, three, four, five jobs, or a larger business with 50, 60, or 100 jobs. But really, growth occurs through small business opportunities. So small business opportunities with job development would be a great place to start.”

It will take the Zimmer group about a year to get this plan going. Nash said this is because they want to have a thorough sense of the community before making any decisions.