Students could work on land use

Iola’s south side looks 100 percent better thanks to the post-flood cleanup. Many of the ruined houses have been removed. Dead and damaged trees have been removed. Lots have been smoothed over and some will be plowed up and turned into gardens under the wise policy adopted Tuesday by the City Commission.
Much remains to be done. So maybe 75 percent better would be a more accurate assessment.
Due to clouded titles and other impediments, some of the eyesores are still eyesores. It will take a while to complete the job.
In the meantime, it might be a good idea to invite some university students to spend some of their summer break studying Iola’s flood plain scene and making detailed suggestions for its use and improvement. Kansas State University offers courses in landscaping and the University of Kansas teaches city administration, a broad subject which must in-clude studies in the management of public lands.
Chances are the other four regents universities have similar courses and that one or more of the six would respond to an invitation to provide their students with some practical training while they also gave Iola a helping hand.
Picking brains for bright ideas would be the first goal. Another priority would be developing a comprehensive plan for making the best use of the city’s greatly expanded land use responsibilities so that all of those new acres turn out to be a boon rather than a burden.

— Emerson Lynn, jr.