PERRY -- Perry’s new strategic plan seems to have a bit of everything: A system of trails connecting parks and amenities. Revitalization of General Courtney Hodges Boulevard. Stronger financial reserves to help government weather bad times.
Those were among the general concepts in the plan approved unanimously Tuesday by City Council with no further discussion. Monday night, council members discussed and tweaked the plan.
Mayor Jimmy Faircloth said the 10-year plan incorporates community input, and the general direction is close to what the city had been pursuing, Faircloth said.
“It reinforces where we want to go, where we have heard from citizens: protecting the ambiance and character of the downtown area but at the same time encouraging businesses and commercial and industrial growth throughout the city, in addition to retail,” Faircloth told The Telegraph. “That’s important. We do have some areas of opportunity for the commercial growth, not just close to the downtown area but in all aspects of the city. There’s an initiative in there for the beautification of the exits of (Interstate) 75.”
The new strategic plan will mesh with a master plan, expected to be completed in the coming weeks. City Manager Lee Gilmour said the strategic plan may give the overall direction of projects, such as revitalizing Courtney Hodges Boulevard The master plan can offer detailed items for implementation, such as landscaping changes that would help support the goal.
City Council members on Tuesday also adopted 13 priorities for the next 18 months, from finding a qualified recreation department director to exploring alternative uses for the old courthouse.
The city also will look at services that can be provided through special tax districts. It already has some citywide fees, including a stormwater utility fee and a new fire fee.
Gilmour and Faircloth credited most of the work on the strategic plan to Mary Beth Bass, who left the city’s economic development director post last month.
To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.