Vision of growth seen for county

Friday, November 3, 2006

Putnam County residents create a vision for the future. During the Putnam County Comprehensive Plan Update meeting on Thursday, residents sat down in groups and determined where they thought the county would be in the next 20 years.

Project manager and planning director for American Consulting Steve Burkhardt reviewed the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats residents thought of during last month's meeting. Burkhardt said that the groups should look at these items while working on their vision statements.

"Tonight is going to be fun part of planning in terms of determining where we are going to be going in the county in the next 20 years," Burkhardt said.

Burkhardt also said that the groups need to come up vision statements that everybody could agree upon. The vision statements had to be general, but clear and succinct on what the county should look like and act like.

After brainstorming, the groups came up with five different vision statements. An example of one group's vision statement was, "Putnam County Indiana is a community that maintains the integrate of small towns and family farms, while promoting good county-wide infrastructure, education, technology, and recreational family opportunities. It is a place of responsible, accountable government, which provides a safe environment for it's citizens."

All five statements had very similar topics that all groups were in consensus with.

Burkhardt then explained that groups that come up with goals for five different topics. These goals should be positive, and should be something the groups are working toward not something they are running away from.

The five different topics were agriculture, transportation, environment, economic and housing and development. Some examples of the goals the residents came up with under agriculture were agricultural land preservation, zoning enforcement to decrease impact of development and continuing education in agriculture and the environment. Mass transit, small water detention structures for flood control and more pedestrian access to developed areas were some of the goals created by the residents. Goals for the environment were promote an appreciation of our county agriculture based culture, reuse of abandoned or unused areas and protection of aquifers. Improve infrastructure, research venture with DePauw University and build and promote tourism were the goals under economic. The goals under housing and development were link schools development with housing, open space conservation and planning for high density housing.

The location and date for the next comprehensive plan meeting will announced at a later date.

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