Archive for October 2nd, 2018

Progress On Potter/Cameron/McKean Comprehensive Plan

October 2nd, 2018 Comments off

Potter, McKean and Cameron counties are joining forces to develop a joint “comprehensive plan,” the document that guides decision-making on topics as varied as land use planning, transportation, economic development, protection of natural resources, education, public safety, housing and quality of life. The plan is mandated by the state and must be updated every 10 years. Each county will have a separate section that reflects local priorities. Commissioners from the three counties signed on to the project in an effort to save costs through shared resources. Total cost is $115,000, with $80,000 covered by federal funding and the remaining $34,500 shared equally among Cameron, Potter and McKean counties.

Input will be solicited from townships and boroughs, school districts, community organizations and the general public. A steering committee meeting was held Tuesday at the Gunzburger Building. Brian Funkhauser (shown) from the consulting firm, Michael Baker International, spoke to more than 30 representatives from the three counties about objectives, timelines, public engagement, anticipated outcomes and roles and responsibilities. Planning Directors Will Hunt (Potter), Cliff Clark (Cameron) and Jeremy Morey (McKean) are the point people. Focus groups are being developed to provide input. Public meetings will be scheduled.

Funkhouser summarized some of the early results from his firm’s research, aimed toward creating profiles of the three counties while identifying trends, assets, strengths, challenges and opportunities. He advised steering committee members that a declining population, combined with steady increases in median age, pose “tremendous implications” that will impact the comprehensive planning process, in terms of needed services, changes in the job market, economics and other areas.