By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer
Consensus Planning officials wrapped up a series of comprehensive planning meetings on Thursday with project goals that include a city bike trail, an alternate bypass for truckers and ideas for bringing new business to Portales.
Consensus Planning officials said they will present a draft for Portales residents in October.
The city contracted with Consensus Planning in October for $50,000 to create a comprehensive plan outlining goals for the future of the city.
The meeting was the last in a four-part series dating back to February. The purpose of the meetings were to gather information and public input in creating a comprehensive plan for the next 20 years.
Participants completed work on the vision statement for the future of Portales.
The statement reads: “Portales is a community founded upon agricultural heritage, promising an excellent quality of life, rich in educational, recreational and cultural opportunity, providing ample health care, affordable housing and economic growth with a vision for the future.”
Consensus Planning officials said they were happy to get the public’s input, which they will use to come up with a draft plan.
City Manager Debi Lee said the time-frame for developing the plan includes a 60-day public review period of the draft, adoption of the plan in December by the city council and implementation of the plan in January.
Some of the priorities listed on the board in the fellowship hall at the First United Methodist Church were keeping Portales a family-orientated community safe from crime and a place new businesses would like to set up shop.
“Without new economic development it would be difficult to maintain the quality of these things (family-orientated and safety),” said Jacki Fishman of Consensus Planning. “The goals will be prioritized along with objectives and policies. There will be 2-year, 3-to-5-year and 6-to-10-year goals.”
Fishman said an immediate goal would be to create an incentive program for developers to provide housing and site development standards.
Lee said a long-term goal would be a bike trail to connect the city and allow Eastern New Mexico University students to bike to the downtown area. Another goal listed on the board was to develop an alternate route in Portales instead of traffic traveling through the downtown area.
“You can really benefit from having a comprehensive plan,” Lee said. “You can clearly see what to improve on and check it off your list rather than be reactive.”