Most cities have comprehensive plans their taxpayers paid professionals thousands of dollars to devise. But how often do they follow them, and how often do those plans attract dust instead of a higher quality of life?
We were pleased to see Johnstown's Planning Board revisit the city's 2008 comprehensive plan at its recent meeting. Board members noted the plan may need minor updates, especially in light of the city's changing demographic information shown by the 2010 Census data.
Times are changing fast, and a comprehensive plan for a successful municipality should be followed and frequently updated. This prevents the need for another overhaul of the plan later.
The Planning Board said the city should follow the plan as it relates to the central business district. Board members said the city should add financial incentives to the plan to promote more growth in the city.
City Engineer Chandra Cotter said she will research what grants are available to the city for development. This is a good idea. Cities should know what is available to them. A little financial incentive could be the difference between an empty downtown storefront and a revitalized space.
Board member Lori Salamack said "simple things" can be done to update the plan, such as including newer maps. She said she will attend a city revitalization forum Thursday and will come back in January to "suggest a way forward" with the plan.
It's good the city's downtown is doing well now, but maintaining its success requires a strong plan for the present and future.