04/06/06 — Blueprint for county's future is advancing

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Blueprint for county's future is advancing

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on April 6, 2006 1:48 PM

Wayne County's Comprehensive Land Use Plan steering committee now has a blueprint for the county's future -- and a better idea of the steps necessary to get there, members say.

The committee met Tuesday. Consultant Glenn Harbeck said the purpose of the meeting was to draft vision statements on the topics the group has discussed over the past two months, including water services, sewer services, commercial and residential development and education.

"It's an umbrella statement on where the county wants to be in the next 10 to 15 years,"said Harbeck, who was hired to help the committee facilitate the planning process.

Wayne County Planning Director Connie Price said each vision statement was written as if the writer was looking back from the year 2020 at the changes made by the county to accommodate its growth.

For example, he noted, the vision statement on water and sewer services states that "Wayne County has worked effectively with the state and other local governments in the region to secure additional long-term supplies of potable water. As a result, pressure on groundwater mining has been eliminated and positive economic growth has continued in the county. At the same time, area leaders and citizens have come to understand that central sewer systems cannot serve rural areas and still pay for themselves. Instead, the county, area municipalities ad sewer service providers have worked cooperatively to both accommodate and direct new development to specified growth areas. Sewer services have been extended to areas of the county where development densities, either existing or planned, have made the provision of sewer services finally possible. In some instances, water and sewer services have been employed to recruit desirable industry to suitable locations in the county."

The statements should represent a consensus of opinion on each topic by the members of the committee, Price said.

Price said the committee's next step is to take the vision statements and use them to develop position statements. Position statements explain how the county expects to make the visions come true and the actions that would be necessary over the next 15 years to ensure that they become reality.