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Imagine Columbia groups to submit their vision plans next week

Friday, July 13, 2007 | 2:44 p.m. CDT; updated 7:58 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

Imagine Columbia’s Future, the city’s community-driven visioning process, will soon narrow its focus from brainstorming “big ideas” to picking priorities as Wednesday’s deadline approaches for members of 13 Citizen Topic Groups to submit their individual visions to the city.

“They’ve been asked to finalize vision statements, goals, strategies and action plans,” Assistant City Manager Paula Hertwig-Hopkins said. “The action plans detail how they’ll implement their visions and strategies.”

Visioning Committee co-chairwoman Dianne Drainer said each topic group’s materials will be compiled into a single document so the plans are easily accessible for neighbors to evaluate and compare them at a Community Choices Open House on Sept. 13. The open house will give neighbors a chance to rank their priorities and join the city in turning developmental blueprints into reality.

Hertwig-Hopkins said the roughly 200 citizen volunteers with the Citizen Topic Groups have managed to stay on schedule completing the groups’ plans.

“As far as I’m concerned, they’ve been doing an excellent job,” Hertwig-Hopkins said. “They’ve continued looking at the available resources in the community and have continued to honor the ideas put in at the very beginning.”

So far, the visioning process has helped the city distill 13 common threads of community concern — ranging from economic development to the environment — from more than 1,500 “big ideas” generated during preliminary public workshops held last fall.

The Vision Committee will hold a public meeting at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Walton Building, 300 S. Providence Road, and topic groups will submit their plans during a public meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Lange Middle School, 2201 E. Smiley Lane.


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