Archive for Wednesday, March 5, 2003

Group assessing Basehor needs

March 5, 2003

Approximately 70 local residents, government leaders and business owners are in the process of evaluating the most pressing needs for the city of Basehor.

The Community Assessment program is designed to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and priorities for Kansas communities.

"It's a whole spectrum of people interested in the community and where they want to see it go," said Chuck Wilderson, a member of Basehor PRIDE and Gold PRIDE.

"We felt like this is the perfect time to sit down and evaluate where we are and where we want to go. What we want the community to look like 10 or 15 years down the road," Wilderson added.

The program is coordinated locally by the Basehor PRIDE and Gold PRIDE organizations. The Pride group receives help at the state level through the Kansas Department of Commerce and Housing.

"It's a requirement of communities involved with PRIDE to go through and update it every five years," Wilderson said. "It's kind of like a city's comprehensive plan, you go through it and review it and look at your goals."

The Community Assessment team began the process Feb. 1.Since the initial meeting, group members have divided into three groups, which will plan and research possible improvements and needs to the city.

The three cells of the Community Assessment team are:

  • The business and economic opportunities: A team assessing the current elements of commercial, retail and industrial businesses in Basehor. The team also will identify potential businesses that could benefit the city.
  • The social environment team: Assesses items such as education, health care and recreational programs available in Basehor.
  • The physical environment team: Analyzing the city's infrastructure -- streets, utilities and parks -- to see where improvements can be made.

The 10 to 15 member groups are meeting and have begun evaluating needs in the area. In April or May, the groups will prioritize the areas, Wilderson said.

"We'll try to come to a consensus or at least have an idea of where we'd like to improve," he said.

The Community Assessment team is asking for resident input and more volunteers. The more opinions available to the groups, the better an overall plan will be, Wilderson said.

Anyone interested should contact Wilderson at (913) 724-1057.

"This isn't something we want to rush. Things don't happen overnight. We just want to key in on the top priorities and try to implement plans to accomplish those goals," Wilderson said. "It's community- minded people working together for a better community."

Commenting has been disabled for this item.