In July 2019, the City of West Monroe was awarded a $99,000 Rural Business Development Grant by the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Rural Development. The purpose of the program is to provide economic development training and technical assistance to communities with a population of 50,000 or less. The City of West Monroe leveraged this federal grant program to develop a downtown master plan by engaging Atlas Community Studios, a company with specialized expertise in strategic planning and place-based economic development.
Each strategic planning process varies by community, but the most critical component is public input. The foundation of the downtown master plan is based on the opinions of those who know and understand the community best: West Monroe residents. To ensure West Monroe’s Downtown Master Plan resonated with those who reside in the area, Alchemy engaged local stakeholders in a variety of ways.
As a part of the visioning process 5 priority projects were identified: