In 2011, students at Drury University’s Center for Community Studies worked with Carthage residents to come up with a “vision” for redeveloping downtown Carthage.
Now the city is considering inviting the Springfield university back to create a “vision” for Carthage’s parks.
The Carthage City Council Public Services Committee recommended that the full council agree to let City Administrator Tom Short and Parks and Recreation Director Alan Bull send Drury information so they can prepare to conduct a visioning study as early as next fall.
Short said the city would also have to put money in its next budget to pay for the project.
“We’ve talked to them and they can do a vision plan for the parks similar to what they did for downtown,” Short said. “It will be our next budget year, it will be their fall semester, 2013. It would be about the same price.”
The city paid Drury University a little more than $5,000 in 2011 for one semester’s work by a team of Drury University students to create a visioning “tool kit” for the downtown area, including the Square, Route 66 and the entrances to the city.
The students held a series of public meetings at Carthage’s Memorial Hall and took information from those meetings to create a book of ideas for ways to revitalize downtown.
The result was the creation of a Vision Carthage committee as a 501c3 entity to prioritize and raise money to implement improvements based on the ideas coming from that series of meetings.
“They can’t do a master plan,” Short said. “It’s got to be more of a vision plan so they’re not competing with planners because they’re partially publicly funded. They would do a vision plan similar to what they did for the downtown, which is basically a tool kit where they give you different alternatives and different ideas to put together a plan.”
Short said the cost would be approximately the same as the cost for the downtown visioning process.
Short said several people in the recent meetings with advisors to the Steadley Trust spoke about the need for some kind of long-range plan for developing and maintaining Carthage’s parks.
The committee recommended unanimously that the council allow Short and Bull to send information to Drury so they can start planning the visioning process, pending the city adding the money for the project in its 2013-2014 budget.