Ecru residents were given the opportunity to express what to them are the strengths and weaknesses of the community so that a comprehensive plan can be drawn up for the town.
Mayor Jeff Smith said that a map was displayed and people were given four red dots and four green dots to stick to it to determine what the towns people thought to get them engaged in the process.
“We had a well rounded representation from several facets in the community,” Mayor Smith noted. “There weren’t a lot of red dots put on the map, but of the ones that were put there the traffic was the main draw back. I personally put a red dot on our Industrial Park because I don’t believe we are utilizing that space. I see potential growth there.”
Comprehensive planning is a process that determines community goals and aspirations in terms of community development. The result is called a comprehensive plan and both expresses and regulates public policies on transportation, utilities, land use, recreation, and housing.
“It sets up the zoning,” Mayor Smith explained. “It helps the people of the town decide where they want the town to grow and how to lay it out. For instance, you don’t want a 40 unit mobile home park coming up beside a $500,000 home because it limits their values.”
Smith said after this initial input, Chris Watson of Bridge and Watson in Oxford will take the map and bring examples of possible comprehensive plans for the town to pursue as a community.
Mayor Smith said he has made it plain to the folks that this is not something that the aldermen should decide alone.
“We are just like you,” he said. “We are not mind readers. If you don’t tell us what you want then we have to make the decision. But this is your town ad we want you to tell us, we don’t want to arbitrate it to you.”
The possible comprehensive plans should be ready to look at after the first of the year. “We will have another public meeting o the matter sometime in January or February,” Smith noted.