Full County Plan Survey Deadline Extended | Recent news
WAHOO — Saunders County is redoing its comprehensive plan for the first time since 2004, and county residents are encouraged to share what they think needs to be addressed.
A survey is available online at surveymonkey.com/r/saunderscounty. The survey asks questions about topics such as housing, quality of life, conservation, and how best to balance agricultural interests and economic development in the county.
Marvin Planning Consultants of David City is responsible for the survey, as well as county research for the overall plan. Early responses to the survey had been low since it opened to the public in February, and MPC Chairman Keith Marvin reported in May that 72 people had responded to the survey in the first three months.
In June, Marvin and his team sent out postcards to reach as many residents as possible across the county. At the Saunders County board meeting on June 28, Marvin said he sent 8,000 total senders and survey submissions had grown to 436. Marvin had previously said his goal was to receive 2,000 survey responses.
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He also mentions that an error on the survey has been corrected. One question asked for information about the cities where Saunders County residents spend their time and money, offering Ceresco, Wahoo, Yutan, Omaha, Lincoln and others as options. But Ashland had been left out.
Marvin said people can email him at [email protected] if they want to update their survey responses to include Ashland.
Also in June, MPC held three informational open houses – in Yutan, Prague and at the University of Nebraska Extension Center near Ithaca. Turnout was lower than expected, so Marvin said more open houses would soon be scheduled in Ashland, Yutan and Wahoo.
Despite the low turnout, MPC community planner Mason Herrman said they were still able to glean useful information from those in attendance. Many county residents echoed, he said, with concerns about the urban pressures of Omaha and Lincoln and wondering how best to keep money, young people and jobs from leaving the county. .
“We’ve heard ‘It’s great that Saunders County is between Omaha and Lincoln, but that’s also a bad thing,'” Herrmann said.
Although the investigation got off to a slow start, Marvin said it would be worth taking more time to gather public opinion, especially since the next 10 to 20 years could see Saunders County change dramatically.
“I don’t care how much time we spend on it,” Marvin said. “Ultimately, it must reflect the ideals and policies of Saunders County.”
Marvin said the set of dynamics Saunders County faces, as opposed to other more rural or urban counties, is unique and worth the extra effort to get meaningful public input on how the county of Saunders will expand in the future.
“We’re going to continue the investigation for another month and see what results we get,” Marvin said. “And then we’ll go from there.”
He plans to keep the investigation open online until the end of August. Hard copies of the survey are also available at the Saunders County Planning and Zoning Office at the Saunders County Courthouse.
Contact Wahoo Newspaper staff at [email protected]