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Nearly a year after receiving a grant through the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), the city of Pearsall will begin the first stage of its comprehensive improvement plan.
A centerpiece of local planning efforts, the plan will articulate a series of goals, objectives, policies and standards that are intended to guide future decisions by elected officials and city administration.
“Personally, I am very excited about this,” Mayor Ben Briscoe said in a meeting Tuesday, August 3. “It will provide a pretty good foundation and a good tool as we prepare for future budgets.”
GrantWorks Senior Planner Nathlie Booth told councilors the plan is a single document that takes into account all important aspects of the city and provides a snapshot of community needs.
It all begins with engaging the people the city serves, according to the planner.
“The plan creates an achievable plan for community’s growth,” Booth said. “It is a living document so it will be flexible to accommodate change as time goes on. It is built on community input and current conditions of the city.”
According to Booth, GrantWorks representatives will drive every street of the city to determine the current state of the city and identify problematic areas.
After the initial assessment of the city, Booth and her team will develop a plan that is founded on historical data.
“There are fourteen chapters in the city’s plan,” the planner said. “Eleven of those are key interest areas like housing and water; there is one [chapter] for potential funding options.”
According to City Manager Federico Reyes, the city did add a storm drainage chapter due to the councilors’ emphasis on remediating the flooding issue on the city’s west side.
Booth told councilors her team was aiming to begin work in late September.
“This will begin with field work,” Booth said. “We will collect community inventory and hold community meetings; this process takes two to five days. There will also be an online survey.”
After the field survey it will take approximately three to five months to create the comprehensive plan. Upon completion the city has a minimum of 12 days to review and present to the public for comment.
Councilors are then required to pass a resolution that will be presented to TDA who will then release grant funding for projects.
Booth warned the process has been hindered by the coronavirus pandemic and what previously took a couple months is now taking six months to a year.
“It is very important I am aware of anything and everything up front,” Booth said. “This includes new subdivisions, grocery stores anything of that sort.”