City to update project plans


Over time, a city should grow and change to meet the needs of its population and to attract new residents and businesses.

And so should a city’s comprehensive plan.

From new road and sewer infrastructure to more public parks and recreation space to more housing and commercial properties, there are many aspects city officials must consider when planning for the future.

The Seymour Plan Commission recently agreed to hire consultant Wabash Scientific of Carmel to update the city’s comprehensive plan. The company was selected by Mayor Craig Luedeman to do the work.

“A comp plan is essentially a blueprint for the city,” said city engineer Nathan Frey. “It’s an overarching plan for all the departments so that everybody is kind of arching in the same direction and so we’re not tearing up infrastructure that another department just built.”

Comprehensive plans should be updated and rewritten about every 10 years, Frey said.

“Our last one was done in 2003,” he said, meaning it’s about three years too old.

Included in the comprehensive plan is the park master plan and the thoroughfare plan, which Frey said was last updated in 1994. The parks plan has been updated more recently.

“This will make sure all of our documents are in line with each other,” he said.

The plan is costing the city $52,900, but Frey said other estimates for the work were more than double that amount.

Building commissioner Jeremy Gray, who heads the city’s planning and zoning department, said the main reason to update the plan is to give the city a better chance of obtaining funding for projects.

“If we don’t do this, we don’t get federal monies,” he said. “We’re not eligible for grants. We have to have a plan in place every 10 years, so it’s time to do all of them.”

The contract with Wabash Scientific will have to go before the board of works for approval, too, but it’s the plan commission’s responsibility to make sure the comprehensive plan is completed, said city attorney Rodney Farrow.

“It will be approved by you, so you will have input,” Farrow told commissioners.

Wabash Scientific has done work for the city in the past through the redevelopment commission.

“This consultant specializes in these kinds of documents,” Frey said. “He’s not a designer. He doesn’t build roads. He’s a planner.”

Gray said a committee to oversee the comprehensive plan would be formed, and several commissioners would be asked to serve on it.

The public also will have opportunities to provide input and ask questions, as there will be several public hearings conducted during the process, Frey said.

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