In March, approximately 120 focus group participants from a number of community organizations, advisory boards and neighborhood groups met for the first of three workshops to narrow down a vision statement, as well as baseline goals, strategies, metrics and key community partners for the following eight planning themes:
- Arts, Culture and Historic Preservation
- Community Facilities and Infrastructure
- Community Physical Image
- Economic Development
- Health and Well-being
- Housing and Neighborhoods
- Parks, Greenways and Natural Resources
- Transportation and Transit.
However, like so many public projects and initiatives, Forward SGF was thrown for a loop when the virus put the brakes on this important input phase of the City’s comprehensive planning process.
The second focus group workshop in April shifted to a virtual meeting format to allow participants to safely participate while continuing the planning process. While the input received to this point is good, the participation rate in the virtual workshops was not as high as expected. With large-group gathering restrictions easing, plans to return to a more traditional format in June, will resume.
Once completed, vision statements, goals and supporting factors will be presented for community response and feedback. While a specific date has not been set, we anticipate releasing the results of the focus group workshops in early August.
In addition to work continuing with the overall plan, City staff and consultants Houseal Lavigne have been working to get the Center City component off the ground, as well. With many of the same public engagement obstacles to navigate, we anticipate getting underway with this portion of the plan in July.
Citizens are encouraged to complete the online resident and business questionnaires and check out the latest results and resources at ForwardSGF.com. Please share your ideas, concerns or other input by calling me at 417-864-2027 or email@example.com.