Public can comment on Garrard County goals

July 23, 2004|JULIE McGLOTHLIN

LANCASTER - Garrard County Planning Commission approved a list of goals and objectives Tuesday for the future of the county.

The goals will be presented to the public at an Aug. 17 meeting, allowing citizens a chance to respond.

Community members will be able to modify or add to the proposed goals, if they feel the goals are not quite what the county needs. Following the public hearing, the goals will be adjusted and then submitted to Garrard County Fiscal Court for approval.

The goals and objectives were generated at six public meetings, during which citizens discussed their planning needs and desires with commission members.

They're a "capitulation of what we thought the citizens of Garrard county wanted, and now we're going back to see if we got it right," said Dick Brunson, chairman of the planning commission. "I hope we listened to them well."


The list encompasses issues such as agricultural economy, residential development, tourism and historic preservation, infrastructure and natural resources management. This is the first step in developing a comprehensive plan for the area.

"Implementation will be the last step. We'll be articulating specifically what these goals are. It's like setting a goal: I want to go to college, now how are you going to get there," said Brunson.

The comprehensive plan is aimed at building balanced growth within the county. "I think as Garrard County grows we have to make provisions for public facilities, police, fire protection, transportation from new subdivisions onto the highways ... Parks have to be provided for people. The northern area may sometime in the future have to look at sewage.

"How does the government take care of the people when the county is growing?"

Community response to the goals is expected to be positive, as opposed to the dissent raised at past meetings. Generally the citizens were "positive about things they'd like to see in Garrard County. They were negative when it came to potential loss of property rights," so the commission hopes the reaction to this list will be favorable, said Brunson.

"We're pleased with the support of the citizens in helping us to get to this point," Brunson said. "We hope that it continues as well as it has."

Even though things are going well for the planning commission, members have come up against several controversies and obstacles. In addition to protests from citizens opposed to the very existence of the planning commission, the group faced a failed attempt at reorganization at its July 12 meeting.

According to Brunson, "The attempt at reorganization was inappropriate. Two guys were hurt, publicly, and they feel badly about it." Equating the reorganization to a car wreck, he said, "It may have been a mistake, but you're going to apologize."

"A disruption of the commission, politically, is damaging to serving the people," he said.

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