GLASGOW – The Glasgow Common Council committee that will be working with the Kentucky League of Cities to aid in the development of a strategic plan for Glasgow's future met for the third time Wednesday, mostly to set up some preliminary actions.
Although each of the committee's meetings are open to the public like other council meetings, the first gathering where public engagement is to be the primary purpose is not anticipated until early fall, after schools have started back, said Councilman Terry Bunnell, who chairs the Strategic Planning Committee for the effort that is taking place at his suggestion but was approved by the full council.
The council agreed to contract with KLC Community Development personnel for $11,000 to produce the plan based on local input.
Bunnell said Wednesday the KLC staff members, Bobbie Bryant and Tad Long, had requested copies of any types of prior planning documents that had been produced in the past to use as foundational materials, aside from the 2014 Comprehensive Plan for the county produced by the staff members of the Joint City-County Planning Commission of Barren County. They already have that one because it's online.
One example was the recent Parks and Recreation Master Plan, he said, and others suggested a Renaissance Glasgow study that had been done in the past.
Councilwoman Marna Kirkpatrick said she's on the Renaissance committee and would work on getting a copy of that, and Councilman Wendell Honeycutt mentioned the Glasgow Alternative Transportation Endeavors Plan; it was incorporated into the comprehensive plan.
The group also discussed possible locations for the public-engagement meetings, or at least the first one.
“We could have it out here in council chambers,” Bunnell said in adjacent conference room where the committee was meeting, “but is that conducive for people to sit, to write?” He said they may need tables for people to sit around.
“What type of environment do we want people to be in for this first initial meeting?” he asked.
Honeycutt suggested the T.J. Health Pavilion Community Center, and Brian McKeever, planning administrator for the JCCPC, suggested Lera B. Mitchell Clubhouse, which is owned by the city, and said he and Long had discussed that possibility.
“Well, let's shoot for Lera B. Mitchell then, as our initial location,” Bunnell said after further discussion. “As we get up and going with this, though, [there will] be other locations, you know. It could be the schools; it could be multiple places up and around the city.”
McKeever asked how many places would be needed for some of the “break-out” meetings with smaller groups, and Bunnell said that would be determined after the initial meeting.
He said the meeting focused on obtaining input from the public would likely be in late August or early September, and that was because Bryant and Long have found through their experience in working on projects like this in other locations that it's difficult to get good attendance during the summer months.
Three members of the community, at least two of whom have businesses in the downtown area, expressed interest in trying to get some things moving sooner, and Bunnell said the agreement is with KLC and involves following their guidelines. The committee is there to assist in the process.
Further discussion ensued on the approach for that first public-engagement meeting – whether broad issue areas should be identified first, for example.
Bunnell said KLC wants to be open to hearing about all potential ideas for the city's future and will then categorize them. He said it is not meant to be a gripe session about what's wrong with Glasgow, but rather discussion about the visions and goals for where it needs to be in the next several years, and possible steps to take toward those.
One of the major tasks Bunnell asked those present to be thinking about and begin doing was to speak to individuals they know and clubs, organizations, etc. in which they participate to begin building up interest before that fall meeting, to sort of ignite some “buzz” around getting involved with the project.
Councilman Gary Norman was the other committee member present.
The Strategic Planning Committee will have its next meeting at 6:30 June 18 in the same conference room.