Lee county officials prepare for town hall meetings

February 24, 2009

By Chris Vessell  bio | email

OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - Lee county officials are looking to build the county's future and they want citizens to help lay out the blue prints. Officials are preparing for a set of town hall meetings next week where the public will share their ideas on controlling growth.

Governmental Relations Coordinator Wendy Swan is organizing the county's efforts to get feedback necessary to develop a master plan. "Where do you see the county in 15 or years 30 years," Swan asked. "It's going to examine all aspects of county government," she said.

"It's basically going to be a big brain-storming session so everyone is going to be able to throw out their ideas. Some of them may be concerned about roads in their area, or maybe they're concerned about not having enough schools in their area," Swan said.

Officials say even the most rural parts of the county are experiencing a 40% population growth. That's likely to increase as a result of BRAC. "They are trying to look at and see what we can do several years from now, and see what our transportation needs are going to be as BRAC does move in," Swan said.

The county commission is paying a consulting firm Goodwin, Mills and Caewood $225,000 to gather public input and formulate the master plan. Educational needs, job availability and residential growth are other issues that will also be addressed at the five town hall meetings throughout the county on March 2nd and 3rd.

Local input could help shape the county years from now. However, commissioners say its up to the public to go to drawing board. "It's not our plan, its Lee County's plan so we want to make sure we get a lot of citizen input on the plan," Swan said.

Lee County is one out of only three counties in the state to develop a master plan.   A list of dates and locations for those meetings are listed below.

Lee County Town Hall Meetings:

  • March 2nd, Monday  Beauregard High School

6 to 8 PM CST

  • March 2nd, Monday  Loachapoka High School

6 to 8 PM CST

  • March 3rd, Tuesday  Beulah High School

5 to 7 PM CST / 7 to 9 PM EST

  • March 3rd, Tuesday  Southern union CC - Opelika

6 to 8 PM CST

  • March 5th, Thursday Smiths Station High School

5 to 7 PM CST / 6 to 8 PM EST

The meetings are open to all who live and/ or work in Lee County.  All meetings will be two hours long.  Go to www.leeco.us/masterplan/ for more information.