Busti To Hear From Public

BUSTI – Two public meetings will be held in Busti to gather public input on the town’s comprehensive plan.

One meeting will be held 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 18, at the Busti-Lakewood Recreation Center, 9 W. Summit St., Lakewood, and the other 6:30-9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21, at the Busti Church of God, 996 Forest Ave., Jamestown.

Todd Hanson, Busti councilman and Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee chairman, said the plan will be broken into several sections – like housing, retail businesses, highways and agriculture – with town residents encouraged to give their input on each.

“It is time for people to give their input on areas to help fine-tune the plan. To make sure we haven’t overlooked something or haven’t pursued something. People will be able to review it and ask questions on the draft of the comprehensive plan. The meeting is not to get people’s approval, it is an opportunity to give input. To start a roundtable discussion on what we have compiled so far.”

After the public meetings, the committee will finalize the plan’s goals and objectives, and then present it to the public. Hanson said the document then will be re-examined every year to make sure it stays up-to-date.

“The comprehensive plan is an ongoing living document,” he said. “This is the first comprehensive plan of this magnitude for the town, and every year it will be reviewed and changed based on what is going on in the town and the county.”

Once the plan is completed, projects to enhance the community will start.

“We will come up with a plan on what the community wants to build and how the community wants to expand,” he said. “Then the plan will be used to go after grant money to implement the ideas in the plan.”

Hanson said both meetings will be done the same, so residents don’t need to attend both.

“We are trying to encourage the entire town to come to one or the other meeting. Hopefully the meetings fit into people’s schedule, and they can come out and give their input,” he said.

The comprehensive plan has been worked on for almost two years. After a steering committee was established, residents were surveyed on various issues. Focus groups met, public open houses were held and a community profile was developed. The steering committee, and consultants, used this input to establish a vision for Busti’s future to identify critical issues and opportunities and key community values. Then they developed sets of goals and strategies to address topics ranging from economic development to natural resources.

Helping Busti officials with the comprehensive plan is Small Town Planning Services. Don McCord, Small Town Planning Services owner and county planning and economic development senior planner, was hired to be a consultant on the comprehensive plan. McCord has also worked on comprehensive plans for the village of Bemus Point and the town of North Harmony.