Monroe city officials are encouraging residents to participate in the ongoing comprehensive planning process and take an active role in shaping their city’s future.
Citizens are asked to take an online survey and attend a visioning workshop Thursday at 6 p.m. at The Factory at Walton Mill. The survey can be found at monroe-compplan.com.
The survey covers housing, transportation, business and community facilities. Survey responses are kept confidential and will help form a report to be used as a basis for the comp plan’s strategies.
“Please engage and let us know your opinion,” City Administrator Logan Propes said during a Monroe City Council meeting last month. “Facebook comments do not count.”
The city hired Marilyn Hall, with Hall Consulting in Watkinsville, to facilitate the comp plan process. The Northeast Georgia Regional Commission facilitated the city’s comp plan in 2017.
Hall spoke before city leaders and residents during a City Council meeting in mid-December. She described the comp plan as a guide for the city to follow in managing future growth. Elements of the plan include population; economic development; natural and cultural resources; and housing and neighborhood development.
The state requires county and municipal governments to update comprehensive plans every five years in order to receive and retain Qualified Local Government Status. QLG status is necessary for a city to be eligible for state grants and programs.
Cities and counties submit completed comp plans to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs for adoption. Once DCA approves a city’s comp plan, that city may apply for state grants and programs like the Community Development Block Grant, water and sewer loans from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority, and economic development funding from the OneGeorgia Authority. Monroe has received CDBG funds in the past to upgrade the city’s sewer system.
DCA was founded in 1977 to provide financial and technical assistance to local governments.
Several more workshops and steering committee meetings will be announced in the coming weeks.
The last public hearing on the comp plan will be held at the council’s April 12 regular meeting, and the plan should be ready for adoption by June 14.