Under the category of did you know, last year in October, the WGM Group finished the Town of Plains Preliminary Planning Study (link). WGM presented the study to the town council, of which the narrative part of the study is only 13 pages long. There are three general action items for the Town government and three for Plains community members.
Suggestions for the Town of Plains Government:
- • Expand and continue the Town Planning Board.
- • Develop a Growth Policy (infrastructure, housing, and aesthetics).
- • Develop a Downtown Master Plan or a Town Center Master Plan (local business development).
Suggestions for the Community Members of Plains:
- • Develop a community-led effort.
- • Develop a community visioning process.
- • Develop a transparent dialogue between the town government and the community.
The particular suggestions of the study are based on four general findings, as noted below:
- The people of Plains are a critical resource. We recommend an ongoing and transparent dialogue between the Town and the residents to determine common ground elements that a Growth Policy can be developed around (p. 10).
- Proactive planning for the future can stabilize the existing fabric of the Town while allowing flexibility to support critical growth required to support the community (p. 13).
- The next step would be to continue the public involvement and develop a Community Visioning Process that can establish a vision statement, goals, and strategies for the community to determine how to move growth forward in a collective manner (p. 13).
- The Town is poised for positive change, and by connecting people and place through a community-led effort, you can provide an avenue for successful and sustainable transformation (p. 13).
Last year, Montana received more people moving here than any other state (link). So change will come to Plains and other rural Montana towns. But the town council has taken no action on the suggestions of the WGM study. Nada.
In response, I wrote the council and asked for a response by letter regarding the WGM study no later than ten days after the regular town council meeting on Monday, 3 October.
We’ll let you know the town council’s response.