FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 18, 2010
TORRINGTON – Residents of Goshen and Platte counties are invited to comment on how they want the region to grow and what they want to protect for future generations during the High Plains Initiative’s (HPI) public workshops which will be held April 25-28 in eight local communities from 6:30 – 8 p.m.
The second series of workshops sponsored by HPI are part of the community discussion about the future growth in Goshen and Platte counties and how to protect the region’s safe, friendly communities for coming generations. HPI is led by a steering committee composed of residents of Goshen and Platte counties. This project emphasizes public involvement, accurate information, local control, private property rights, and voluntary, market-based implementation strategies so communities can guide their own future growth.
Residents can also provide written comments until Friday, April 29. Individuals can email comments, turn them in at the county building/courthouse in Goshen or Platte counties, or give them to HPI at the workshops. Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or Commissioners@plattecountywyoming.com.
“This second round of workshops is being held to gather public feedback on growth scenarios developed from thoughts and recommendations by residents who participated the October workshops, attended other community meetings or gave their input through the online survey,” said Julie Kilty, who lives in Goshen County and serves as co-chair of the High Plains Initiative Steering Committee. “These community meetings will be an opportunity for us to learn which elements within each scenario have the most public support.”
During the workshops, participants will hear about the projected values and potential impacts to the community for how each scenario handles the estimated growth in population for both counties. These vision scenarios are tools to identify how changes and growth that may come to the region in the future are addressed and how this impacts the things that residents of Goshen and Platte counties value. This information will help residents understand the consequences of the growth strategies embodied in each scenario. This also allows the public to compare various quality-of-life measures among all scenarios including the “business as usual” scenario.
“The HPI Steering Committee has been working on these scenarios over the last couple of months to make sure that they fit the area and do not violate private property rights,” said Cindy Witt, who lives in Platte County and serves as co-chair of the High Plains Initiative Steering Committee.
“We felt strongly that in order to honor our value of private property rights that we would not create maps detailing where residents said they would locate a certain type of development like trails,” Witt said. “Instead, we are going to show that a certain percentage of participants valued trails.”
Kilty added that one of the processes that HPI has gone through with this project is to determine the values of local people, and why they like living where they live. There’s been a list created that includes things like small towns, low crime rates, low taxes and private property rights. “The idea of this project is to look forward 30 years and make sure we maintain the values 30 years from now that we have today.”
After the second series of workshops, a preferred scenario will be drafted based on public feedback and results will be presented to the HPI Steering Committee for review. Under the supervision of the HPI Steering Committee, a vision document will be created that includes the preferred scenario as well as recommendations on how to implement the vision.
The vision document is neither a land use plan nor a legal or binding document. The document provides information to local elected officials and residents to make sound decisions regarding growth and development based on public input. The recommendations provide suggestions for development that could preserve what the communities want for future generations, but, ultimately, landowners will make their own decisions about their own property in accord with existing laws and regulations.
Monday, April 25 at 6:30-8 p.m.
LaGrange at the Community Building
Glendo Fire Hall
Tuesday, April 26 at 6:30-8 p.m.
Wheatland Middle School Library
Fort Laramie at Town Hall
Wednesday, April 27 at 6:30-8 p.m.
Lingle at the American Legion
Chugwater Elementary School in the gym
Thursday, April 28 at 6:30-8 p.m.
Torrington at Eastern Wyoming College in Room T131-T132
Guernsey at the First State Bank’s conference room
ABOUT THE HIGH PLAINS INITIATIVE
Under the leadership of local economic development leaders, Goshen and Platte counties requested to become the first demonstration project for Building the Wyoming We Want in March 2010. HPI is led by a steering committee, composed of residents of Goshen and Platte counties, with help from Building the Wyoming We Want. HPI focuses on four broad goals: to engage citizens and stakeholders in activities that explore growth issues and choices; to develop a range of scenarios based on public preferences; to explore consequences and implementation options for each scenario; and to create a vision and a strategy for Goshen and Platte counties based on the values of the residents.
According to the 2010 survey of residents in both counties by Heart+Mind Strategies, residents of Goshen and Platte counties place very high value on living in safe, small and friendly communities and are even more optimistic about the future than Wyoming residents overall.
In addition the support given by Building the Wyoming We Want, HPI sponsors include: Goshen County, Platte County, Torrington, Glendo, Guernsey, Wheatland, Wyrulec, Broker Real Estate Guide, Missouri Basin Power Project, Platte County Economic Development Corp., Goshen County Economic Development Corp. and High Plains Economic Development District.
Please visit http://www.buildingwyoming.org/highplains/ for more information on the High Plains Initiative and “like” us on our Facebook page.
Julie Kilty, Co-Chair, High Plains Initiative Steering Committee
Phone: 307-575-0928 E-mail: email@example.com
Cindy Witt, Co-Chair, High Plains Initiative Steering Committee
Phone: 307-331-1123 E-mail: Cindy.Witt2004@gmail.com
Mary Hogarty,Building the Wyoming We Want Project Coordinator
Phone: 307-286-2622 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org