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First steps taken to develop new comprehensive plan

The final document will provide a framework for priorities and policies future city leaders should focus on.

Posted: Oct 12, 2021 11:27 PM
Updated: Oct 13, 2021 10:23 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) --  St. Joseph residents interested in the community's future met Tuesday evening at the Remington Nature Center to start the process of developing a roadmap to get there.

Representatives from RDG Planning and Design from Omaha, commissioned by the city, were there facilitating a discussion on putting together a new Comprehensive Plan for the city. The process included looking at some of the city's strengths as well as some of the challenging issues that need to be addressed.

"We start to look at things like our infrastructure, our streets, our parks. Other qualities of life things we might look at are entertainment and those kinds of things."

The comprehensive plan will provide a framework and vision for the city with a focus on priorities. policies and public investments the city should focus on.

One statistic RDG representatives shared with the group is the fact that St. Joseph has more than 24,000 people who work in the city every day, but go to their homes at night outside of St. Joseph, which can create some big disadvantages for the city.

"The biggest one would be engagement that they would have with your community in the sense of your volunteer organizations and your school districts and those things when they leave every day," said Amy Haase from RDG.

Among those who came to be a part of the discussion was David Stark, a Minneapolis native who just recently moved to St. Joseph. He had some interesting first impressions of the city.

"I'm just surprised at how much art there is with sculpture walks, etcetera, but I've also seen the symphony already," he said. "There are great buildings and something happened, it looks like a bomb hit the place or something. You get the mixed impression."

From the first lists of developing the plan created by those who attended, the positive seemed to outweigh the negative and the group felt the city has the building blocks of being bigger and better in the future.

RDG is continuing in the fact-finding portion of their work. They plan to have a draft of a new comprehensive plan ready for review after the first of the new year.

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Temperatures will remain slightly above average today with highs in the mid to upper 70s under mostly sunny skies. Winds will also remain on the breezy side as well with gusts up to 25 mph. Winds will start to calm down this evening. A weak cold front will move overnight tonight into early Wednesday morning giving us the chance for a few light showers, however most areas will stay dry. Dry and seasonal conditions look to continue for the rest of the work week with highs in the 60s. Rain chances look to increase by late Saturday night into Sunday.
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