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New County Comprehensive Plan Sets Ambitious Goals

December 20th, 2019 Comments off

Public officials and community leaders now have an official blueprint to guide decision-making in the new decade, following yesterday’s adoption of the Potter County Comprehensive Plan by Commissioners Doug Morley, Susan Kefover and Paul Heimel. It’s the result of an 18-month process designed to set priorities for a broad spectrum of public policy areas. Its implications will be felt in everything from economic development and agriculture, to tourism and health care. An underlying theme is a critical need to address the county’s¬†declining population, combined with steady increases in median age. Implications are being felt in terms of needed services, changes in the job market, economics and other areas. Approximately 1,000 Potter County residents weighed in with¬†input on a series of identified priorities that are addressed in the plan, including:

  • business attraction, workforce development and employment;
  • infrastructure (including public works and high-speed internet);
  • attractions for tourism and recreation;
  • downtown amenities and community services;
  • gaps in health care and drug addiction services
  • agriculture (including the forest products industry);
  • education;
  • protection of air, water and natural places;
  • transportation.

Consultants from the Michael Baker International firm created a draft of the plan and posted it online for public input. Potter joined forces with McKean and Cameron counties to contract with the consultants, using a combination of state and county funding. The plan is now available under Planning/GIS Department on pottercountypa.net. The comprehensive plan is mandated by the state and must be updated every 10 years. Potter County Planning Director Will Hunt said that he will establish an online service to share ongoing details as the plan is implemented.