Archive for Thursday, August 8, 1991

PLANNERS SAY GUIDE WILL COST $200,000

August 8, 1991

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Representatives of four local government entities and Lawrence's umbrella neighborhood organization plunked the first of a long pattern of Horizon 2020 dominoes Wednesday as they discussed how much the planning document will cost.

Horizon 2020 is the city and county's next long-term planning guide. It is due for completion June 1994. In the next year, it will replace Plan '95 and the Douglas County Planning Guide. The new plan is expected to remain in place until 2020.

Jean Milstead, Lawrence-Douglas County planning commissioner and chair of its Horizon 2020 committee, told the Lawrence City Commission, Douglas County Commission, Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission and Lawrence school board that completing Horizon 2020 will require a consultant, dozens of local volunteers from every conceivable interest group and up to $200,000.

PLANNING Commissioner Phil Bradley asked the Lawrence and Douglas County commissions, which are being asked to foot the bill, to consider the cost as spread over the 25 years of the plan rather than the three years it will take to complete.

"My grandfather had a saying: `Always measure twice, cut once.' He was a carpenter." Bradley said. "I don't think you can spend money more properly than planning to prevent mistakes."

The 1992 Lawrence and Douglas County budgets together have reserved about $30,000 for Horizon 2020.

County Commissioner Mike Amyx said he was unprepared to commit to funding Horizon 2020 to the extent that the planning commission requested until county commission discussed the matter on its own. He also felt uncomfortable deciding without County Commission Chairman Louie McElhaney, who was absent.

AMYX FEIGNED heart palpitations when the $200,000 figure was mentioned. City Manager Mike Wildgen and City Commissioner Bob Schumm responded by urgently fanning him.

"I think it would be as unfair as could be to ask us to make a decision," Amyx said.

Amyx said he would like to put Horizon 2020 on the county commission's next agenda.

Milstead and Mayor Bob Walters reassured Amyx that a decision about funding was not needed and that his agreement to discuss the matter was enough.

Milstead and Planning Director Price Banks said the completion of Horizon 2020 will be a smoother process if a consultant is hired as soon as one can be chosen.

THE PLANNING commission will present the Lawrence and Douglas County commissions with a list of potential members of various task forces for the project. Horizon 2020 will consider land use, environmental concerns, neighborhood quality and economic development.

Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods chair Mary Thomas and other LAN members requested a particular emphasis upon neighborhoods and education.

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