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Nevada City economic development plan to preserve downtown area

An economic development strategy Nevada City aims to implement in the coming year will not only focus on growing local businesses in the area, but seeks to maintain and preserve the city’s infrastructure in the downtown area.

“An emphasis on historic preservation has been a key economic development strategy of the city for several decades now,” City Manager Mark Prestwich said. “The decision to preserve our historic district is today an economic driver in the community. So certainly, that will remain a focus of any strategy moving forward.”

Last September, city council and staff held a planning retreat to discuss the city’s goals. The following month, council members formally adopted new three-year goals and a 12-month strategic objectives plan for Prestwich, and city staff, to peruse.



Prestwich said the economic development strategy will aim to grow, retain, and recruit Nevada City businesses, a plan Prestwich said is a significant priority for the city and will be presented and adopted by council members by July 1 of this year.

“An emphasis on historic preservation has been a key economic development strategy of the city for several decades now.” Mark Prestwich, Nevada City city manager

“Right now, we’re in the process of conducting some briefings and outreach,” said Prestwich. “Soon we will be meeting with the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce to receive their input on the developing strategy. The plan itself will have metrics and objectives within it, that’s what’s being worked on right now.”




The plan, however, will emphasize a maintenance of the city’s infrastructure as a tool to attract business and commerce into the area, said Prestwich.

“That’s the streets, sidewalks, pipes in the ground,” Prestwich said. “It’s the way you conduct business with the community. So that will be a key strategy for the infrastructure, while also ensuring that the community itself is known for and has a sense of place that is attractive to business and attractive to commerce. A key part is ensuring the city delivers services in an efficient and effective manner.”

The city’s plan will also aim to align its mission with the Nevada County Economic Resource Council’s objective of funding and launching a local digital media leadership campus that would potentially attract new businesses and create an educational hub for young professionals and students in the digital-tech industry.

“That features both an educational component as well as a linkage to business, so students can move and transition into the work force,” said Prestwich.

The ERC is currently awaiting the potential approval of a $500,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce for which it applied in the fall.

If approved for the funds, the ERC will move forward with the process of launching a digital media campus in the county.

To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email inatividad@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.


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