Volunteers could help Pilot Point reach its goals
PILOT POINT — The chairwoman of a city-planning committee told Pilot Point officials that residents are an untapped resource the city should use to achieve its goals.
Committee chairwoman Joyce Duesman told the City Council on Monday that a meeting with city-planning experts last month generated a lot of community interest, resulting in residents expressing a desire to volunteer for future improvement projects.
Duesman suggested that the council act quickly to take advantage of the community’s interest before it fades.
“I was really amazed by the residents willing to volunteer,” she said. “There is a lot of untapped talent in the community and several people are willing to donate their ideas and time to volunteer.”
In mid-February, a team of experts from the American Institute of Architects met with city leaders to help them identify the city’s strengths and weaknesses.
The eight-person team spent five days studying the city’s land use plan, historic preservation efforts, design standards, economic development and downtown revitalization.
On the last day of the team’s visit, members presented an 87-page report on the state of the city’s economic development, parks, land use plans and downtown development.
Duesman told the council that the next step is to create a vision statement for the city before making any investments.
Planning director Scott Ingalls said a vision statement is the starting point for creating a new development plan.
Ingalls said the plan will give the city direction and allow officials to set specific goals and prevents unorganized planning.
Duesman suggested the council contact local universities to assist with crafting a vision statement because their services would be free.
The council members appreciated Duesman’s suggestions to use volunteers and other free services to help meet city needs.
“It’s very important that we do everything we can to stay on track,” she said. “Even though it’s tough, we must make every effort we can.”
Duesman also suggested making changes to city zoning and updating the city comprehensive plan, using the team’s 87-page report as a guide.
“Their report has all the ingredients to helping us figure out what we want to do,” she said.
In other business, council members agreed to postpone a vote to spend $336,500 to repair about 20 streets.
The council agreed to reschedule the vote until staff members can present a plan with more specific costs and possibly some alternative sources to fund the project.
According to city staff reports, the improvements will consist of a laying seal-coat material and asphalt material to level the road and fill dips and gaps. The repairs will also include a final layer of chip seal on top.
The funds for the road repairs comes from a combination of the city’s 2013 General Capital Improvement Program, the city’s fund balance and the annual budget.
The goal would be to use the funds to go as far as possible with maintenance work, officials said.
Asphalt work cost varies based upon the price of oil, according to a city staff report.
The amount of work completed and its cost also depend on street condition and the amount of asphalt needed to level the streets, City Manager Tom Adams said.
The City Council also agreed to use $28,000 to complete work on a building at 201 S. Jefferson St.
Officials are working to turn the building into a city museum. So far the city has cleaned the building’s interior, restored water service and repaired and renovated the exterior brick facade.
Officials said they expect the approved funding will be enough to finish the floor leveling work and the front facade work.
JOHN HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882. His e-mail address is email@example.com .