Springfield, MO

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Wanted: Business feedback for city’s 5-year plan

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The city of Springfield’s Planning & Development Department has some $2.3 million in annual federal funds to spend over the next five years, and it wants residents to provide feedback.

Through what officials call the Community Development Needs Survey, residents are asked to help the department best use the funds on affordable housing, economic development, public services, public and private improvements, and infrastructure and public facilities for fiscal years 2020-24, according to a news release.

The survey is open through July 31.

“The five-year consolidated plan is the city of Springfield’s primary vehicle for identifying and prioritizing housing, community development, public service and economic needs and strategies to guide the use of its entitlement funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development,” said Bob Atchley, senior city planner, in the release. “The Community Development Needs Survey is one of the opportunities that will be presented to the community, allowing every member of the public to provide their input regarding the needs of Springfield.”

Under economic development, residents are asked to determine the need for business incentive loans, business mentoring and startup training, and business incubators, among other programs. The survey also asks whether the city is in need of street improvements, new bus stations and the destruction of dilapidated buildings.

Separately, the city’s Planning & Development Department also is working on a visioning process for the future of Springfield.

The city hired Chicago-based urban planning firm Houseal Lavigne Associates as the comprehensive plan consultant for an 18- to 24-month process establishing future goals, including the use of public infrastructure and investments, according to a news release.

“At its core, the comprehensive plan is a guide for future land use, but it is also an opportunity to really dream about what we want our community to become,” said Mary Lilly Smith, Planning & Development director, in the release. “A communitywide comprehensive planning process should create a vision for what kind of city and community we want Springfield to be and establishing a path to make that vision a reality.”

The city last created a comprehensive plan in 1998 with Vision 20/20, which led to a farmers market at the Jefferson Avenue Footbridge, a transportation sales tax and center city redevelopment, among other work.


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