City moves forward with master plan

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Cassville City Council voted Monday night to seek proposals for a master plan that will eventually guide the city's growth and development for the next 20 years.

Eugene Dilbeck, the city's economic development director, presented aldermen with a six-page request for proposals (RFP) document that will be sent out to professional companies that have experience in city planning.

So far, Dilbeck and his wife, Lynette, who serves as deputy economic development director, have researched and identified six different companies they will be mailing the RFP to. These companies are located in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and Lenexa, Kan.

"This request for proposals is the next step in the process," said Dilbeck.

The proposal is asking companies to submit a bid for developing a master plan for Cassville that would operate under the scenario that the city would be growing from its current population of 3,000 to a population of 6,000 by the year 2030.

According to the RFP, the master plan "would serve as a visioning document for what Cassville's leadership would need to do to accommodate a doubling of its population size."

Some of the areas that would be addressed in the plan include: transportation; commercial development; residential development; industrial-business park development; parks and recreation development; public services; public facilities; and fiscal impact.

For example, the commercial development plan would assess the current commercial areas within the city and evaluate the need for additional retail, entertainment and business space.

Each portion of the master plan would need to include a prioritized time line of proposed action and suggested ways to finance any new or expanded facilities and infrastructure needs.

The master plan development process would also involve active participation and input from city officials, business and community leaders and the public throughout all phases of the project.

"Through public input and interaction, we'd be in a position to mold a plan for the city that everyone will be comfortable with," said Dilbeck.

According to Dilbeck, the RFP will be mailed to prospective vendors on Nov. 26 and proposals will be due back to the city on Dec. 31. It is anticipated that the city council would award a contract to the successful bidder by Jan. 30, 2009. The company would have until May 29, 2009, to submit its first draft, and the final draft would be due on July 3, 2009.

Public hearings would be held before the city officially adopted a final master plan, Dilbeck said.

According to the RFP approved by the council on Monday night, development of a city master plan could cost anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000.

"The RFP marks the start of a process that's just beginning," Dilbeck said.

Near the end of Monday night's council meeting, alderman Terry Heinz stated his belief that the city needed to be sure it was also addressing current needs of its citizens while also looking ahead to future growth.

"I think we need to take care of the people that are here," said Heinz.

Dilbeck suggested that the city add a sidebar to its RFP asking vendors to also provide an assessment of existing infrastructure as well as a cost for improving infrastructure to a certain standard.

City council members agreed with Heinz's concern and directed Dilbeck to add an infrastructure assessment to the master plan RFP.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: