Grow Spencer hopes to tap into community philanthropy for projects

Grow Spencer hopes to tap into community philanthropy for projects

The Grow Spencer Commission has honed in on two focuses for its task of recommending ways to spur community growth.

The commission, which met Monday afternoon, held its first meeting last month. Mayor Kevin Robinson made establishing the commission a priority during his successful 2016 campaign.

The two main focuses are the economic growth of town and the cultural growth of town,” Robinson said at Monday evening’s Spencer City Council meeting. “Today at our (Grow Spencer) meeting we looked at two different proposals of entities that can help facilitate those processes.”

Robinson explained that while economic growth is about jobs and business, cultural growth is more about community gatherings.

Interactions, things that promote connectivity to the town,” Robinson explained. “They’re not tied to jobs, not tied to business. Really, they’re more tied to the social connectivity of a town.”

City manager Amanda Mack told the council to expect recommendations on those proposals this week.

We’d like to present a proposal to you all for consideration for the July 2 council meeting,” she said. “Members of the commission will be present to discus that.”

Robinson shared his biggest takeaway from the Grow Spencer meeting.

We got to talking about when was the last time something significant happened in town,” he said. “It kind of was the conclusion that the Dvergsten grant monies that were pumped in the town really spurred the last significant projects.”

Irvin and Ruby Dvergsten donated to many Spencer causes and continued to do so after their deaths through the Dvergsten Charitable Foundation. Robinson listed several of the recipients of funds, including the YMCA, Parker Historical Society, SCT Playhouse and Arts on Grand.

We’re hoping that some of that philanthropy exists and we can do some of that private and public projects as we move forward,” Robinson said.

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