MONTICELLO — The city is asking those with connections to Monticello to take an online survey to help in the drafting of a long-range comprehensive plan.
Monticello hired MSA Professional Services last fall to head up the process. A steering committee has been formed, some one-on-one interviews have been conducted, and the survey will give the general public its first input.
City community development director Callie McFarland said those of all ages are encouraged to fill out the survey, which is available until the end of April at cityofmonticello.net.
"If you're a high school student, we want to hear what you say. If you're a senior citizen, we want to hear what you say. You are a citizen and we would love to have your input," McFarland said.
Long-range planning will be a major emphasis in 2014. The overall comprehensive plan, along with associated downtown revitalization and five-year strategic plans, should be completed sometime this fall. The city has also commissioned a separate bicycle network master plan from the Farnsworth Group, which should be completed by the end of the year.
Allerton Park officials are hoping to have a master plan of their own by this fall, which would need approval from the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. Allerton's associate director, Derek Peterson, said such plans are needed in order to gain public trust for long-range fundraising.
"As we're looking to build capital campaigns and introduce people to the park, it's hard to approach fundraising if you don't have a long-term plan in place," said Peterson, who said the master plan would lay out goals for the next 10 to 20 years.
The park will also begin implementation of a multi-phase bike trail project this summer. The first phases will not include any trail construction, but will include signs and designated bicycle parking areas in order to get people used to the idea.
"Once we get them out here and comfortable with it, we'll look at off-the-road bike trails," Peterson added. "We need them to get excited about the bike trails before asking and spending money on new trails."