McPherson Community Development Director Tom Steinmetze came to the McPherson City Commission on Monday to ask them to accept the current Comprehensive Development Plan for one more year, while the Planning Commission intends to put a new plan in place for 2016.
Steinmetze said, "We're looking at ways to maybe move it up and maybe get some things accomplished. I do know that members of your group have observed some other types of comprehensive development plans that have been done, which, from what I have seen, look like an extensive and very, very useful document. However, I have to wonder if just the Planning Commission and staff here will be sufficient to do something like that. We may, at some point, want to be looking at additional consulting services or something like that if you want to produce a plan similar to the ones you've seen. I think it would be a good idea, personally, but it would be an expensive one."
Mayor Tom Brown agrees that the Comprehensive Development Plan needs work.
Mayor Brown said, "I'm going to help you jump start, hopefully. I think that the Comprehensive Development Plan is way out of whack. I hope to have another Future Essentials luncheon either in March or April. I would like department heads to tell us where we're at at the present time in that luncheon. And then, I would like to cast an informal vision of what we need to be looking at, and with that, then, we'll spend the rest of the year trying to pull together help. Whether we need a consultant, we probably need some local focus groups and some other things. But, we will have a robust process the remainder of '15. If we have to extend again, it will only be because we have enough information that we're going to totally overhaul what we have."
Mayor Brown would like to see a plan that envisions what McPherson might look like as a town of 20,000 people, as that is the magic number for a lot of the amenities that people have asked for that companies say we are too small to get.