|Tue, Sep 02, 2014 05:12 AM
May 21, 2014 | 10:05 AM
A year-long project to develop a comprehensive plan for the town of Laconia is nearing completion, and town council members, along with its appointed steering committee, are seeking input for ideas.
On Thursday, May 29, any time between 6 and 8 p.m., the public is invited to a town-sponsored open house at the Boone Township Volunteer Fire Dept. to review and comment on major strategies that are being developed for the plan.
Residents can stay as brief or long as their schedule permits, and refreshments will be provided.
At the steering committee's last meeting, on April 14, Amy Williams of Taylor Siefker Williams design group, made a presentation that included five goals that had been determined by the committee, as well as the public, during previous gatherings.
The goals, which aren't etched in stone, are:
1 — Redevelop abandoned and dilapidated properties to provide quality housing options.
2 — Preserve and enhance the history and rural character of Laconia.
3 — Provide needed infrastructure improvements, including roadway enhancements, adequate sewer and high-speed Internet.
4 — Support existing small businesses and community development.
5 — Provide entertainment options for all ages through programming and events in addition to new and existing facilities.
For each goal, Williams provided a list of suggested "action steps" that would help accomplish the desired task.
She encouraged each steering committee member to take up to a week to contact her office with any other suggestions.
"Everything's still on the table, but we're going to revise (the list)," Williams said.
As part of her presentation, Williams had color-coded maps that indicated future land use, gateway improvements, areas for infrastructure work and intersection upgrades.
TSW was hired to oversee the development of a comprehensive plan, thanks to a $40,000 grant from the Community Development Block Grant program (the town had to put up $4,445 as a match).
Once the goals are defined, it will be determined who will do each of the necessary steps to achieve them. That will take place during the steering committee's next meeting most likely in mid-July.
The comprehensive plan, which could be adopted as early as August, will be driven by public input.
"The more people who are involved, the better the plan will be," Tom Huckaby, town council president, said. "We encourage people of all ages to come by and share their ideas and help plan Laconia's future."
For more information or other opportunities for input, contact Huckaby by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 812-737-2480.