Buckhannon 2025 comprehensive plan survey open to all county residents

BUCKHANNON – Interested in helping steer the City of Buckhannon in the right direction in 2019?

Have your say by submitting your opinions to the city’s newly reformulated planning commission, which is charged with designing Buckhannon’s 2025 comprehensive plan.

Every 10 years, West Virginia municipalities are required to update their comprehensive plans, which guide the future direction of the city as it relates to community-wide goals and policy recommendations for Buckhannon City Council.

The Planning Commission has scheduled a community town hall meeting for 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 14, 2019 to discuss input into the plan, which must “promote the health, safety, morals, order, convenience, prosperity and general welfare” of area residents, according to a city press release.

Comprehensive plans must also recommend policies that improve a number of facets of community life, including everything from recreational opportunities to transportation availability.

In the meantime, residents may submit their two cents by visiting www.surveymonkey.com/r/RPYCTL8 and filling out a survey being administered by planning commission president Susan Aloi. Aloi said Monday the survey has been updated, although it does draw some on past comprehensive planning surveys.

The survey isn’t limited to city residents only, Aloi said.

“The survey is available to the entire Buckhannon-Upshur community,” she said. “We want to hear from people who work and play in Buckhannon, in addition to those who live here.”

Thus far, 545 surveys have been completed.

Mayor David McCauley will be attending the Jan. 14 meeting, not as a member of the planning commission but as an interested party, and he invited the Buckhannon-Upshur community to do the same.

“I think this newly reorganized planning commission has done stellar work in a very short perio do ftime to advance our next comprehensive plan,” the mayor said Monday. “The plan can be a validator – or not – of the direction of trends happening in our city organization.”

But the questions the planning commission is tackling aren’t all about how the city operates, McCauley emphasized.

“Some of the questions are, for example, about the kinds of businesses you’d like to see in Buckhannon,” he said. “We definitely have some terrific eateries and service-related kinds of businesses, but maybe we need to do a better job with industrial and manufacturing businesses, and that’s the kind of thing that this group is looking at. It’s not just about the municipal services we provide – it’s a much broader picture.”

McCauley added the 2025 plan is particularly important because the planning commission is taking into account the completion of Corridor H.

“Another thing this group will be looking at is the 2025 completion of Corridor H,” McCauley said. “We are looking at a 330 percent increase of traffic on the highway between Weston and the western suburbs of (Washington) D.C. and Baltimore (Maryland). When you’re talking about a two-and-a-half hour commute [to that area], the word planning cannot be overstated.”

Questions about the survey? Email planning commission president Curtis Wilkerson at curtis@orion-strategies.com or Aloi at aloi_s@wvwc.edu.

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