Keeping business in the downtown square, improving the local library, focusing on health care, attracting more jobs for younger adults and adding to the city's recreational facilities were just some of the issues outlined at last nights first Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee.
In April 2013, the Center City Council approved a contract with Fort Worth based engineering firm Freese and Nichols to complete an update of the city's comprehensive plan. As part of the process, the council appointed the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee.
"We are here to dream...we are here to think about the future..we are here to be aware of what our current situations are and what our past is," said Mayor David Chadwick.
"Our challenge is to make this your plan and not our plan ," said Freese and Nichols Planning Director Dan Sefco.
Sefco says that even though the population in Shelby County and Center has largely remained flat over the years, business growth is something that needs to be more strongly focused on. "If you did not tell somebody what the population was, they would think it is much bigger than it is."
Sefco pointed out that there is a larger percentage of older residents than younger ones in Center and Shelby County.
"We have only developed 31% of our area. So we have 2/3rds left to go, so we have a real opportunity to plan the future," Sefco said.
"They(citizens) will never criticize you for doing too much...they will critize you for not doing enough." he further pointed out. He encouraged those present to think big and then prioritize based on available funding.
Future meetings will be scheduled.