CARTHAGE, Mo. —
After delays because of bad weather, Carthage residents today will get an opportunity to see the results of a “visioning” effort for city parks developed by a student group from Drury University.
Students from the Center for Community Studies in the university’s School of Architecture will unveil their proposals in a public meeting set for 6 p.m. at Memorial Hall. The recommendations, which were to be outlined in December in a meeting that was canceled because of snow, have been submitted in report form to members of a residents committee that worked with the group.
The proposals were developed after the students toured city parks to study amenities and assets, and met with the advisory committee. Public meetings were held to get residents’ feedback on the parks and to unveil preliminary suggestions.
“They’ve suggested a number of different scenarios,” said Tom Short, city administrator. “The committee will have to whittle them down to the ones they feel are most feasible, then prioritize them for the parks system. We really want the public’s input on all of that.”
This effort marks the second time that Carthage has contracted with Drury University. A group two years ago worked with the city and a local committee on a plan for the downtown. The local committee has continued to meet and work on developing and carrying out those recommendations.
Short said officials find the steps beneficial; they combine sessions to get public input with an outside perspective.
“The big thing is the public involvement associated with the process,” he said. “But it’s also helpful to get an outside perspective so we’re getting as many viewpoints as possible.”
THE CITY COUNCIL allocated $5,500 in this year’s budget for the park analysis. The panel also included extra funding for park maintenance this year, along with funding for a consultant to help design a bicycle trail proposed for the Walnut Bottoms area near Kellogg Lake Park.