Lewis: Homer needs young families

Homer has many things going for it. We have great beauty, a good port and harbor, many recreational opportunities, excellent schools and an eclectic population that brings diversity to the city. We have just finished the gas line that will help lower the cost of living. The trail system in town is growing yearly and is making Homer a walking and biking friendly city. We have a harbor that is growing and improving and has a chance to be one of the economic engines helping the city to prosper.
Alas, we do have entities that we are reluctant to fund (Senior Center, Kevin Bell Arena, and a Comprehensive Recreational Program). In most communities these would fall under the governance of the city, meaning major funding for these groups would be included in the city budget. At present, the population has chosen to not have these funded by the city so they limp along through fund raising and grant writing. This needs to change.
In order for Homer to grow and prosper we need to attract young families to town. We need to encourage public and private entities to move or expand here, make port and harbor improvements, encouraging the growth of the Kachemak Bay Campus, encourage private business, expanding federal and state institutions, and in the summer making Homer a unique destination for tourists.
With development in Cook Inlet, Homer needs to become the hub of activity for the oil and gas exploration industry while preserving Kachemak Bay and surrounding area. None of this will be easy or come quickly. But as long as we work toward these goals we should continue to grow as a community.