COLUMBUS, KS.--- "You've heard Columbus discovered America, well we want to help America discover Columbus and this is one step we're taking to make sure that happens," states Mel Greene, Columbus Resident.
Renovating an 1874 building is how Columbus resident Mel Greene is helping a citywide effort. There's still work to be done, but when completed it will serve as a business and a rental home.
"We'd like for it to be a great part in the future," states Greene.
It fits perfectly in the city's plan to bring more business and more people to Columbus.
"We just want things to be better, we want people to love living here, stay living here and come and live here," states Marie Nepple, Columbus Mayor.
Mayor Marie Nepple describes the plan as aggressive.
"It's going to be a work in progress," states Mayor Nepple.
It consists of these 5 goals, economic development, improving city government, more housing options, improving infrastructure and more recreational activities. The total cost is unknown.
"We know money is going to be tight. The governing body is very firm in not wanting to raise taxes," states Mayor Nepple.
So, the future of the vision plan depends on a number of factors.
"The public sector, loans or grants and also the community and local residents," states Mayor Nepple.
Columbus residents are stepping in to help. 11 are already renovating buildings downtown. For Mel Greene, it's a labor of love.
"That's what we want Columbus to be. A great place to live, a great place for business and bright star for the future," states Greene.
To help with the effort, Columbus Telephone is setting up new fiber optic networks at all Columbus homes and businesses. Subscribers will get internet service 100-times faster than they currently do. Mayor Nepple says this project could take more than 6 years. If it does, the city plans to continue working on it until they feel they've reached their goal.