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Public casts voice in Pocatello planning for future

Tonight the City of Pocatello is once again meeting with its citizens to hear what they have to say about what direction they would like to see the city headed.

For the first time in 10 years the Pocatello Planning and Development Services department is collecting the community’s input to update the City’s Comprehensive Plan, also known as Our Valley Our Vision.

Planning and Development Services Director Lon Crowell said this is the most opportune time for people to come out and have their voice heard.

“At this point, we just want to know what everybody wants,” Crowell said before noting the department is going into the open house without any specific plans already in mind. “We’re kind of going in blind. We will hear from a few people here and there and usually they are not the general public and so we hope to have as many people as possible come to this meeting and just hear their opinions.”

Only a handful of people trickled in during the three-hour time period the more than 60 maps were on display. However small the turnout was, the suggestion boxes were filling up, nonetheless.

Old Town Pocatello Executive Director Stephanie Palagi said Old Town has developed drastically since the previous plan was drafted nearly a decade ago.

“We have street furniture, we have lights, we have trees, and as you walk through Old Town, you see beautiful landscaping that you haven’t seen before,” Palagi said.

She then went through a litany of other buildings, businesses, and even parks that have moved into town since then.

But tonight, Palagi said Old Town will be suggesting new renovations be made to parts of the city, including: new parking lots, new updates to street maintenance, and a pedestrian walkway over the Center Street underpass.

Crowell said he does not expect the previous plan to change much, but after the second open house meeting on June 12, the department will revise the community’s suggestions and then draft a revised plan.

The next meeting will take place from 3 p.m. until 6 in the city council chambers.

Follow Kaitlin on Twitter: @KaitlinLoukides

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