The planning organization Envision Madison, just finished the last of the public meetings they had planned to hold, allowing the public to help decide the future of Madison County. The kickoff event was planned to allow community members the opportunity to see how the program was going to work and to hear from others in the community about their involvement with Envision Madison.
“I started going and as I started going I really got a feel for what Envision Madison is trying to do and where we can go with a community that has planned ahead,” said Kathryn Gardner.
Planning ahead is what Envision is trying to do for the community. The public workshops that they held were designed so that community members can voice their opinion about how they wanted to see their county grow over the next 50 years.
At the workshops, people were seated around tables and given a map and pieces of paper that represented different sizes of buildings and then asked to put the buildings where they thought they should go. At the end of the meeting, the maps were presented to show varying opinion county wide.
Debra McGary, a community member, said she enjoyed the meeting but had some concerns about the data that was gathered.
“I’m not sure if we accomplished too many things, they’ll have to see how the data comes out, a lot of interesting themes, a lot of people had the same concerns it sounded like,” said McGary
At the end of the meetings, the maps were gathered to be logged by volunteers.
Now that the Envision Madison meeting is over, volunteer students are taking the maps that were created tonight and logging each individual square so they can be analyzed later.
“Right now we are analyzing said data,” said Brock Cherry, a junior at BYU-Idaho. “We take every box bit by bit and what we’re going to do is we’re going to put all of this information into a software program so that we can better see on an overall scale of, alright, people would like industry here or homes here or maybe we should preserve these areas.”
Envision Madison plans to take the data that was gathered at these meetings and create different scenarios showing how the county could grow over the coming years and allow the public to vote on which scenario they would like to use.