The 50-60 local residents attending the Comprehensive Plan Update meeting held Tuesday evening at the Audrain County 4-H center, and the 15,000 people who visited and commented on the 'EnvisionMexico' interactive website www.EnvisionMexico.org, think Mexico is a great place to live and are sharing their views for the city's future.
Several local educators, businesses, city officials, the county commission, investment firms, police, the mayor, AARP representatives and the Mexico Area Chamber of Commerce, and many more attended Tuesday night's meeting. The interactive open house was intended for the public to provide additional information for the city's comprehensive plan. It's been 25 years since the last plan was written.
Hoefer Wysocki's Director of Urban Design, Brian Hamilton, opened the meeting commending the efforts of those attending and those who interact on the website, for taking part in the make-up of Mexico's Comprehensive Plan. "Tonight it's time for us to explore in more detail what you want for the city, and it's time for you and your neighbor to talk and share your thoughts about the future of Mexico as well."
Those attending broke into small groups, and talked with Wysocki consultants. This is the second Comprehensive Plan Update that has been held. The first update process kicked off in January with a public workshop at the 4-H Center, and according to the 'EnvisionMexico' website, the four major topic themes that Mexico residents want most are:
• Economic Development: support/expand local businesses, attract new and diverse businesses that provide good jobs and wages.
• Quality of Life & Environment: pursue amenities to make Mexico the place to visit (entertainment, place for youth, beautification).
• Education: pursue actions that position the youth of Mexico for success (programs, facilities, activities).
• Healthcare: pursue actions that ensure Mexico is a destination for healthcare and related services and businesses.
"Throughout the whole process, a lot of interest has been given to economic development, jobs, wages, amenities, along with some ideas on where to begin," Hamilton said. Some areas suggested include the Missouri Plant Science Center, Presser Performing Arts/former Hardin College Campus, downtown, the hospital and related healthcare, and possibly even Mid America Brick. Hamilton and Wysocki consultants spoke with MAB president Frank Cordie, and more conversations are expected.
"Now, we have to find the common thread to pull all of this together and then work on the approach and what the design will look like," Hamilton told the crowd. "We're not here tonight offering solutions, we're here to explore the alternatives."
The information and input shared Tuesday night, he said, will give the city a base to move forward with the draft and plan.
Those attending were given comment sheets to fill out, and leave. Those ideas and opinions will be reviewed and possibly added with other data being included in the city of Mexico Comprehensive Plan. Hamilton said the Envision Mexico website will run for four more weeks. He encourages all area citizens to get involved and "help shape the future of Mexico."