Several Mexico residents have been actively involved on the Envision Mexico website, making suggestions for changes in the city's current Comprehensive Plan that is being re-constructed after nearly 25 years. Individuals or organizations interested in submitting suggestions for the plan have only this week left to get involved. The deadline for final submissions is July 1.
The online conversation website was launched in January to generate conversations about the future of Mexico. As of Friday, 19,000 page views and 1,300 visits have been made to the site, generating multiple conversations.
The update to the Comprehensive Plan, which will end with the adoption of the City of Mexico Comprehensive Plan, will serve as a 20-year development plan for the city, to be utilized to make informed decisions to guide development, redevelopment, set-forth policies, plans and programs.
Brian Hamilton, director of urban and planning for the Hoefer Wysocki architecture firm out of Kansas City said "In the big picture, the community response has been exceptional. The response we have had, not only through the website, but also from the public venues we've had, we've gotten incredible insight and information for us to roll up our sleeves and really understand what the community is about," Hamilton told The Mexico Ledger Tuesday. "There are a lot of great ideas that have led to conversations.
"I couldn't be more pleased about the active communication that has been going on."
Hamilton said the website sent out notifications last week to all who have signed up on the site, telling them that they have this week to make comments.
"It's been six months since we started the website, and in the past few weeks we've seen a little wind down in participation; likely because it's summer," Hamilton said. "And now, it's time to wrap up that part of process and start putting a plan together."
After July 1, Hamilton said the Hoefer & Wysocki firm will begin developing a draft plan over the summer and that the information from the draft plan will be put in a link on the City of Mexico website at www.mexicomissouri.org. The final plan, he said, is expected this fall.
"At this time, we have no hard, fast date on the final plan. Our plan is to let the process run itself," Hamilton said.
On Jan. 17, the Comprehensive Plan update process kicked off with a public workshop at the Audrain County 4-H Center. Assets, challenges, issues and opportunities were discussed. Among the many items identified, four major topic points appeared to be general consensus themes: economics and development, quality of life and environment, education and healthcare.
Following are some examples of some of the conversations appearing on the Envision Mexico website:
On May 8, Barbara W15 wrote she "believes Mexico has a rich history that needs to be preserved. The Audrain County Historical Museum and grounds, Saddlehorse Barn and grounds and Presser Hall are just a few examples of preserving Mexico history. Preservation of historic downtown buildings, homes, railroad stations and other buildings need to be encouraged by both the private and public sector. By preserving historic buildings and properties in Mexico, additional tourism can be realized."
Page 2 of 2 - On May 21, Dennis T3 – an active weekly user of the website – wrote: "The city needs quality employers that are willing to contribute to improving the local economy while establishing and fostering relationships for long-term business growth." He also thinks more focus should be placed on local food in local stores.
On the same day, Linda R15 wrote: "More code enforcement is what is driving people to build outside of the city limits; what you have to do to meet city code makes your home more costly. Why are there not developments of more subdivisions like there were in the '50s, '60s, '70s and '80s? There is only one active subdivision at this time, Oak Acres, that will not allow duplexes. People are building all up and down Cunningham Road, outside of the city limits, rather than building in the city limits. Yes, there have been a number of new homes in that area of Oak Acres, but there should be more. City of Mexico, think, do not run people out of town."
These are only a few examples of the conversations transpiring on Envision Mexico. Citizens are invited to share their notions and be a part of Mexico's future.
Other topics generating dialogue include: transportation and infrastructure; environment, sustainability and ecology; economic and catalysts opportunities; parks and recreation priorities; youth activities; a new aquatic center and amphitheaters for community gatherings and much more.
To see how Envision Mexico works, visit www.envisionmexico.org.