The priorities that will guide municipal government in the Town of Warren over the next decade are beginning to take shape.
Another round of stakeholder meetings concluded on Wednesday evening.
The first two sessions were held on March 23 and focused on downtown and business development.
Wednesday’s sessions included discussions of the city’s strengths as well as targeted areas for land use.
Brandi Rosselli of Mackin Engineering, the consultant working on the project on behalf of the city, said it marks an attempt to prioritize action items – projects, proposals, funding sources, etc. – which will finally be presented to the city in the final project.
This series of sessions was by invitation only, but a second public meeting is scheduled for May 10.
Rosselli said feedback from these sessions will inform recommendations made at this public meeting in May. The final plan will therefore be drafted during the summer.
The first session identified some key challenges facing the community, identifying that the community has a “big heart” but apathy and negativity.
“This is just part of the general opposition to change of any kind,” Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman Mike Suppa said.
“A lot of the best ideas come from a lot of you here together,” Denny Puko, consultant on the project, said. “Plus just a lot of things that you all know that we don’t know.”
He specifically asked participants to identify ideas, tactics and programs that could be appropriately included in the plan.
Part of the asset discussion focused on the historical nature of the community.
Warren County Historical Society executive director Michelle Gray commented on the degree of historic preservation that townspeople have maintained.
“(I) found it remarkable, the upkeep and the way they maintain the structure in the historic district on their own,” she said, calling the downtown historic district a “A great source of pride for this community.
Possible priorities identified include increasing the availability of funding as well as the availability of information in the community.
“Resources in general are important”, John Papalia, director of chamber operations and WCCBI tourism, said, particularly in a new business environment. “A lot of times people just don’t know where to turn. There are resources. It is an awareness. »
“There is strong philanthropy in Warren County,” Puko said, identifying another asset.
He stressed the importance of getting “People want to come to Warren.”
A discussion took place about other plans that have been developed in the past.
Rosselli said there had been a lot of plans but not a lot of implementation and the goal of this planning process was to change that.
The land use session moved from ideas to specific locations in the city.
Unsurprisingly, the first element was the city’s riverfront.
Other areas identified included the west side of Liberty St., the uneven citywide burn, city gates and entrances, and features like sidewalks.