LIMA — The city of Lima and the Lima-Allen County Regional Planning Commission held the first of two Community Engagement Nights at Lima Senior High School on Thursday night.
The purpose of the event was to have city officials and employees educate the community on Lima’s plans and vision for the future, as well as get public input about the issues that matter to those living in the city.
RPC Executive Director Shane Coleman said that getting the public to voice its concerns with the city will help direct the long term plans for the city.
“We’re hoping for public participation and to get as many people out as we can because the real driver to the plan is learning more about the public,” Coleman said. “What do they see? What’s the vision of Lima today? What do they want the vision of Lima to be 20 years from now.”
Among the issues discussed were blight removal in the city, housing improvements, the downtown revitalization effort and crime.
Lima Director of Community Development Susan Crotty explained how the city uses its comprehensive plan to help make big picture decisions.
“I’ve worked in other cities where we had a comprehensive plan that we would refer to when you’re looking at making land use decision or extending sewer lines or building a new road,” Crotty said. “It’s helpful to have that in place. It’s a living document, though. It needs to be updated, but it needs to be used as well. We don’t want something that’s just going to sit on the shelf.”
Lima Mayor David Berger also spoke about the importance of having the public’s input to build Lima’s 2040 comprehensive plan.
“We often develop plans, we try to share plans when we’re done, sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t,” Berger said. “So this time we decided that this planning process needed to open up in a different way and invite the public into the discussion from the get-go.”
The public will have another chance to give its input to the city at the next Community Engagement Night at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at the Lima Civic Center.
Reach Trevor Hubert at 567-242-0398