After a year of collaborating with the community, the City of Killeen has released its new comprehensive plan. The draft document spans 152 pages, pulled together by the city with input from the community.
The city has narrowed the plan down to six main ideas: positive community culture & environment, fiscally responsible growth, downtown revitalization, safe, affordable, and efficient transportation, vibrant neighborhoods, and local businesses.
"Everything from surveys to meetings, workshops and walk-shops. Where the consultants and city leaders visited more than a dozen neighborhoods and met face-to-face with individual residents to see what you want to see for Killeen," said Janell Ford, Executive Director of Communications with the city of Killeen.
Ford said this has been in the works since March of 2021. However, this is still a draft version so the city is asking the community to participate in one more round of surveys.
"We want to make sure that we’re spending the right money on the right things because there’s a lot that people want to do but we have to make sure that we can do it efficiently effectively with the money that we have," said Ford. "We want you to review it. We want you to make sure we get your feedback. Did we miss the mark? Did we hit the mark, did we get it right because this is been over a year in the making. We want to make sure we have it right as we start presenting it to the council and stakeholders."
Some of the main ideas of this plan are supported by some community members who have already been acting on these ideas before they were included in the plan.
James McWilliams the Vice-Chair of Killeen Creators said, "I've read the plan and I think if they can keep it going that would be a positive thing."
Reinforcing a positive community culture and environment while building vibrant neighborhoods is already a focus for the Killeen Creators.
"There’s a food desert on this side of town there are no grocery stores so we want to put community gardens within walking distance of as many residents as we can," said McWilliams. "We want to instill that pride in neighborhoods that and that community and all the neighborhoods throughout the whole city of Killeen."
The city's latest landscape for the future aims to address those concerns while maintaining growth. The plan is expected to stretch through the next 20 years.
Ford said community involvement has been essential to this project. There is now a short survey about this comprehensive plan on the city's website regarding the big six ideas.
"Out of the 152 pages there are just a few of very small handful of pages that we want you to focus on to make sure that you can answer those questions. All 152 pages came from the citizens of Killeen," said Ford.