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Village Vision News

Residents encouraged to share their ideas for planned Village growth

Thursday, December 15, 2011

How would you like to see the Village of Forsyth grow in the next 20 years? Residents are encouraged to offer suggestions and contribute to the development of a long term plan for the Village by sending their thoughts in an email to Mike Hoffman of Teska Associates Inc. at mhoffman@teskaassociates.com.

Teska is a consulting firm hired by the Village to develop a comprehensive plan and development ordinance. The goal is help the Village build on its tax base, housing and parks, and plan for continued success. To that end, community involvement is key, with structured interviews involving Village leaders and staff, law enforcement, public transit, mall owner/manager and business owners including those in the restaurant sector. Interviews began Nov. 21.

“We kept him busy that day … and [he] gathered a lot of valuable information, especially about community development and development trends,” said Village Administrator Heather Kimmons.

Hoffman next will work with Hickory Point Mall management in January after the holiday rush for retailers. An economic development plan is a component in the scope of services provided.

Hoffman offered an initial report of the common themes which emerged from his first interview session. Among topics with strong interest were:

  • attracting a grocery store, drug store and high-end liquor store such as Friar Tuck
  • adding some diversity to housing with affordable starter homes
  • developing a community center
  • revising ordinances, especially sign issues
  • supporting the school district construct a new middle school in Forsyth
  • developing regional economic development efforts

Teska also plans to offer a community survey for residents to complete on the project website. Hoffman is presently studying the results of a 2009 community needs and recreation planning survey of Village residents. That survey was conducted by Eastern Illinois University’s Department of Recreation Administration and was designed to assist the Village with an assessment of community needs and recreation planning.

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