The City of Jacksonville is asking the public to attend a community meeting later this month to help brainstorm ideas for a new comprehensive plan for the city.
The community meeting will be held in conjunction with the Illinois Housing Development Authority, which will have representatives on hand. Community Development Director for the City of Jacksonville, Brian Nyberg says the City has formed a partnership with IHDA for a new Community Revitalization Plan.
Nyberg says the group will be sharing data they have collected so far, and really needs the public’s input now that the last revitalization plan is nearly twenty years old.
“We want the public to give us input as far as the direction that we want to move forward during the next ten to twenty years. The last comprehensive plan was in 2002, so this will be the next comprehensive plan for the city as far as what the community is looking for as far as housing, schools, infrastructure, restaurants, hospitals and all of this information will be taken into consideration for the new comprehensive plan.”
Two meetings will be held on Tuesday, September 21st, in the conference room of the Jacksonville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Nyberg says representatives from IDHA will open the meeting with information on what the Illinois Housing Development Authority has done for other communities as well as for Jacksonville in years past, an example of which is the grant funding obtained by the City of Jacksonville last year to reimburse for the demolition of several abandoned properties.
Nyberg says this is where the public’s input both in person and via the Community Needs Assessment Survey is vital to determining the direction Jacksonville should move forward.
“We will also talk about the Community Needs Assessment Survey which is still open, and if people want to fill that out they can still go to the city’s website or JREDC’s website, and most of the discussions at the community meeting will pertain to those questions, concerns, and comments from the Community Needs Assessment. So the Illinois Housing Development Authority has developed a worksheet and it’s got the major issues were, what the community is wanting to do as far as a bike path or grocery stores or utilities, taxes, all those questions were asked and the input for how we want to move forward is in that Community Needs Assessment.”
Nyberg says the discussion at the meetings will be preliminary planning leading up to the comprehensive plan that will hopefully begin sometime next year.
Kristin Jamison, President of the Jacksonville Regional and Economic Development Corporation says all parties involved really want the public to be active in the planning conversation.
She says they met in a preliminary meeting last month with IHDA and were able to review some of the early survey data.
“It was excellent to see what some of the feedback has been on some of those online surveys. Because all of us in our respective postilions have things we are working toward. But as we are seeing what the community would like, it either validates those ideas that we are working toward or says okay, maybe we need to be thinking about doing something a little bit differently here because the community is asking for X, Y, and Z. So all of it makes us better informed. We think we know as Jacksonville residents on how we want to move forward, but truly getting that feedback from Jacksonville residents helps us do our jobs better.”
The Community Meetings will be held at 12:00 noon and 6:00 pm, on Tuesday, September 21st in the conference room of the Jacksonville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau located at 310 East State Street. Virtual options will also be available for those who cannot attend in person.
The Community Needs Assessment Survey can still be accessed and completed by going to jacksonvilleil.gov or jredc.org.