Jacksonville residents are being asked to complete a survey aimed at developing a new comprehensive plan for the city.
The Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corporation in collaboration with city and county leaders and the Illinois Housing Development Authority is working to develop a new housing needs assessment for the City of Jacksonville.
JREDC President Kristin Jamison says responses to the Community Needs Assessment Survey will provide valuable feedback from Jacksonville residents that will directly impact decisions made during a new community revitalization effort.
“We initially had a meeting with IHDA, the Illinois Housing Development Authority, to talk about the fact that it’s time for the City of Jacksonville to be thinking about a comprehensive plan. It’s been over twenty years since the last one was unveiled and a lot of that work has been accomplished. Mayor Andy Ezard is intent on working towards another new comprehensive plan. So IHDA has these wonderful programs one of which is called Community Revitalization, and under that program, we are able to do a full survey of what then needs of our own community are.”
Meghan Cuneo, Community Revitalization Planner, for IHDA says the Community Needs Assessment Survey is completely anonymous and allows residents to take part in developing a strategy for future development, identifying housing needs and goals, and creating the long-term vision for Jacksonville.
Jamison says the survey results will help with development in several areas for the comprehensive plan. “That will obviously include housing needs, but also things like recreation, the economy, mobility, nightlife, etc. So folks can really voice their opinion on where they think the City of Jacksonville rates on a number of levels, a number of different areas, and then their vision on how we should move forward. So we are able to take all of those responses collectively and work with various stakeholders in the community to form that comprehensive plan.”
Jacksonville Community Development Director, Brian Nyberg says one of his priorities in his role with the city is to reduce the number of abandoned and neglected homes and neighborhoods in Jacksonville.
He says a strong community revitalization strategy will provide guidance for the community to follow to bring about its vision over the long term, and should include input from local residents, neighborhood boards and groups, nonprofit agencies, local businesses, educational institutions, service agencies, and other local stakeholders.
Jamison says the development of a comprehensive plan would also help form the blueprint for future development for spaces such as the long-vacant Jacksonville Developmental Center grounds, and how it could be turned into something to better serve the community.
The survey is accessible at www.jredc.org, via QR code or as a hard copy PDF form. Jamison says there will be a version of the survey made available later this year specifically for college students.
You can find out more information on the survey and comprehensive plans development this Friday morning, when Kristin Jamison will join WLDS’s Gary Scott on the What’s on Your Mind program on am 1180 WLDS beginning at 10:30 am.