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Jul 29

Public input opportunities will be part of planning process

Posted on July 29, 2022 at 10:37 AM by Becky Burnside

By David Markham

A projected eight-month process to update JCPRD’s strategic plan gets under way in August. The goal is share major recommendations with the Johnson County Board of Park and Recreation Commissioners in December, and to complete the plan update for an April presentation during an annual joint meeting of the JCPRD board and the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners.

“The strategic plan guides the capital improvement program, land acquisition efforts, and the capital replacement plan processes,” explained Planning and Development Manager Georgia Sizemore. “The strategic plan also includes recommendations on organizational structure, staffing, and program offerings.”

The plan JCPRD is currently operating under, known as the Legacy Plan, was updated and approved in 2015. Sizemore said there are a number of factors as to why the plan is being updated at this time.

“All strategic plans are living documents,” she said. “As such, the Legacy Plan is being updated to document what has been accomplished and calibrate for the future. It reflects changes due to organizational structure, property holdings, Legacy Plan progress, economic conditions, environment, demographics, and lifestyle changes from the pandemic to enrich our community through excellence in parks, recreation, culture, education, and public service.” 

The changing demographics of Johnson County are another important factor. 

“The population of Johnson County is expected to continue to grow with much of that growth coming from diverse populations,” Sizemore added. “Diversity is greatest amongst those under age 6, with 30% of that age group representing diverse backgrounds. It’s of tremendous importance that we widely understand current and future needs to ensure our future development in parks, facilities, programs, and services serves all populations in our community.”

In early June, JCPRD sent out a request for proposals from firms seeking to serve as consultant for the planning process. After interviews with two of the responding firms, staff anticipates recommending selection of one of the firms during the Johnson County Board of Park and Recreation Commission’s regular meeting on Aug. 17. 

Work with the successful consultant will start almost immediately after a firm is selected. 

Sizemore said the consultant’s role will be to “manage diverse public engagement and data collection, analyze data, provide associated anticipated costs, update existing Legacy Plan framework, and to recommend prioritization of needs over time.”

Along the way, opportunities for public and shareholder input are expected.

To accomplish this, JCPRD will administer a statistically valid county-wide survey, provide opportunities for public engagement at open-house meetings and online to collect and distribute public input for the process. Numerous stakeholders in the community will also be contacted directly for input and comment. Specific dates for these efforts have yet to be set.

“We will partner with numerous county and municipal services and stakeholders to reach broader audiences,” Sizemore added. 

JCPRD’s past strategic plans were given specific names like MAP 2020 for the plan adopted in 2001, and Legacy Plan for the plan adopted in 2015. It is anticipated the new update will receive a name as part of the planning process as well.

“The steering committee and consultant will work together to recommend a final name for the plan that embodies the community’s and JCPRD’s goals and how we might achieve them,” Sizemore said.

For more details and updates about JCPRD’s strategic plan update, visit JCPRD.com.