Perry volunteers seek to develop strategic plan

mstucka@macon.comMarch 11, 2014 

PERRY -- Perhaps Perry’s future should include a splash pad for children to play on. Or maybe the city needs to seek to host the next Disney World. Or maybe there will be a very different vision for the city altogether.

A group formed of dozens of volunteers launched a campaign Tuesday night to try to determine what kind of future the city should plan for. Terry Moody Walker, who moved to a house her uncle had built decades before, thinks the city needs to value historic preservation and find ways to host more cultural events.

“What I would like to see come out of this is a roadmap for the next 10 to 25 years,” she said.

Those visions may vary. Perry Mayor Jimmy Faircloth suggested participants point to problems in other communities. He said he doesn’t want to reject Perry’s historical attributes in favor of Warner Robins-style development. “I don’t want Main Street to look like Russell Parkway. You all know what it looks like,” Faircloth said. “You pick a town.”

Faircloth said he didn’t know whether residents would want a large conference center, theme park or something else. He suggested the group -- which skews older and whiter than the city as a whole -- should keep a holistic approach.

“From the young to the old, I want to have something for everybody, if it’s feasible,” he said.

Perry’s economic development director, Mary Beth Bass, wants different subgroups of the volunteers to offer their suggestions to Perry’s strategic plan by May. The groups are slated to discuss recreation and leisure; diverse revenue sources; planning, engagement and partnership; community development; service provision; and economic development.

The end goal is a strategic plan that will be used.

“Things don’t just happen,” Bass said. “We have to put the right measures in place to make sure we achieve our goals.”

To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.

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