Price involves community in master planning
Price City put together a master plan for the city over a decade ago, so that planning for everything from streets to recreation could be implemented in an organized manner. On Monday a group of private citizens, business people and local officials came together to review that plan as part of a process to keep the plan on track with what is going on in the city and up with the changing times.
The group of about 20 individuals spent much of the morning going over the present plan and reviewing its sections and the goals that the city had set for the plan the last time it was reviewed five years ago.
"It was a good concept to have so many people involved," said Nicole Steele of the Division of Workforce Services. "It was good they had people from the community involved and the fact they asked for our input."
The group was led by Ken Young, a consultant who has been working with the city on their plan for a number of years. Young has had long experience in master plan development having worked in city planning and management in Mesquite, Nev. during the early 1990s, when the town moved from being a sleepy little largely agricultural village to a boom town that has taken on a whole new persona. He also worked in city planning for Orem for a number of years.
The existing plan as presented to the group covers seven areas of the city. The categories include land use, urban design, economics, transportation, housing, parks and recreation, and public facilities and services. Each of those areas have goals set for them in the plan, the strategies for working toward those goals, the actions that must be taken to achieve the goals, how long the goals will take to achieve and the agencies in the city responsible for taking action.
The group was put together to come up with changes to the plan in terms of what is pertinent to the city today. Things change rapidly in the world of city planning and goals, so having a diverse group of people working on naming improvements that need to be made is important because the various points of view bring new things to the table.
After a review of the various categories Young polled the group to see what they thought might be updated or even added to the plan. The list of suggestions were compiled for each category and after that was done some priorities were set for reviewing those suggestions. Once that was done the larger group was divided into committees which traveled out into the community to look at the various kinds of things that the group had suggested needed to be done, reviewed or examined.
The afternoon was spent looking at the results of the field study and the recommendations by the group on how the master plan should be updated.
The day ended with the group voting on what the major things that came out of the study were and what should be included in the revamped master plan. The group discussed the following topics among others.
The master plan has been a good thing for the city and a lot of it has and is being followed. Some things however need more attention.
Economic development seemed to be some of the major topics discussed and suggested on the new master plan. The future of the coal industry, the power plants in the area and the diversification of the city's economic base were high on the priority list.
Parks and recreation were put on a high priority, particularly the idea of building a recreation center for all citizens. A large amount of discussion was spent on that topic. In addition it was discussed that the eastern side of Price has no park.
Looking at overlay districts for various purposes in the zoning in the city.
Main Street was a large topic of discussion and how to preserve its historical value while moving into the future. Obviously this discussion also included the economic future of the area, art for the area as denoted in the master plan already and the public buildings and space. Of great discussion was the proposed move of the Carbon County Courthouse to a new facility outside of the downtown area.
Roads and transportation were commented upon regularly. Outside of the more busy corridors concerns about the shape of the roads, curb and gutter and there was even some discussion about certain intersections as well as ideas for new traffic lights. Public and assisted transit were also discussed.
Issues related to housing included infill in lots that are now vacant, housing density and coming up with moderate income housing was discussed. Also, ideas concerning senior housing and student housing, particularly married student housing was brought up, particularly ideas concerning those who want to convert their basements, attics or parts of their homes to rentals for such use.
Public facilities were examined and some suggestions were made for bringing the library up to modern standards for use by today's population. Included in that discussion were the public buildings that exist on Main Street (around the Price City Hall block) and how things could be improved there.
Public services that are provided by the city were also discussed and some improvements were suggested, although the general feeling among those in the meeting was that those services were carried out fairly well in the community.
"I thought it was a great exercise," said Mayor Joe Piccolo on Wednesday. "Here we had 20 people from all walks of life spending a whole day helping us to determine the direction of the city. We couldn't have asked more of them."