by David Atchison/The Daily Home
Pell City begins process of revising its Comprehensive Plan
PELL CITY – Officials have begun the process of rewriting the Comprehensive Plan, a shared vision for the future of the municipality.
“It went well,” City Manager Brian Muenger said of the first steps in the process.
City employees as well as residents who volunteer on various city boards gathered at the new Municipal Complex on Tuesday to kick off efforts to revise the plan. Muenger said the 15-year-old plan does not accurately reflect the city’s plans for the future.
“Our needs have changed in the last 15 years,” he said.
He also noted that when the plan was written, Pell City only had 9,000 residents. Today, it has more than 14,000.
“It’s a 25-year comprehensive plan, but it needs updating at least every five years, and it needs to be fully revised every 10 years,” Muenger said.
He said the process to revise the municipality’s plan will take about 18 months, and the process must have public involvement. The plan focuses on six distinct areas – economic development, recreation, education, the historic downtown district, housing and public safety.
Muenger said the city will encourage residents interested in shaping the city’s future direction to volunteer to serve on a committee or subcommittee that will focus on one of the six planning areas.
He said the municipality will make applications to serve on committees available on the city’s website within the next two weeks.
“We want a diverse group of people to serve on each committee,” Muenger said. “We are looking at a full overhaul of the current Comp(rehensive) Plan.”
The council recently hired Epiphany Collaboration, LLC., to help guide the city through revising the plan. Katherine Ennis, with Epiphany Collaboration, LLC., said company officials hope to make the city’s plan more user friendly and easier to read.
She said the revised plan will have long-range goals.
“It’s a 20-year plan, but we want to know what you want to concentrate on for the next five years,” Ennis told those who were in attendance at the Leadership Retreat, which was Tuesday.
She said the process will include public hearings to encourage public involvement.
“This is a very public process,” Ennis said. “It has to involve your community.”