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Residents weigh in on vision for BC’s future

“In the future, Boulder City will be…”

That was the heading on a large piece of otherwise blank white paper on an easel at a recent public meeting set to gather input as Boulder City prepares a new five-year strategic plan where attendees put handwritten notes outlining their thoughts about the city’s future.

Emergent Method, the consulting firm that the city hired to shepherd the process of plan creation has sought input via a number of avenues, including an online survey for residents, four focus groups and three community meetings. The last of these occurred March 25 and drew 29 participants. (More than 300 residents took part in the online survey.)

When it comes to what residents would like to see in Boulder City in the next five years, there was a split between those who attended meetings and those who answered online.

Attendees could fairly be described in general as wanting the city to stay pretty much as it is, except with a new pool and a second grocery store. (Note that the meeting took place a couple of weeks before news that the 99 Cents Only Store on Boulder City Parkway will be closing, along with all other locations in the chain, which will leave Albertsons as the sole local choice for food shopping.)

When suggestions for change opportunities were placed on a matrix that defined both ease of accomplishment and potential impact, the Quick Wins suggestions included permanently funding the community liaison role, which works to connect residents in need with available services, to city recognition of Pride Month, to re-examining the city’s strict growth ordinance, which has kept the population of Boulder City largely flat for the better part of three decades.

When it came to the online survey, Emergent Method was able to provide demographic info which closely tracked the stats for the city overall. For example, about half of the respondents were over the age of 45 and nearly a quarter were over 65. This is close to the numbers from the most recent census which showed that close to one-in-three BC residents are over 65. (By way of comparison, nationally the percentage of over 65 is closer to one-in-six.) Median age in Boulder City is about 53.

Survey respondents were asked about current city initiatives, which they thought should be de-emphasized and at complete odds with the current city council. More respondents than any other category called for scaling back the size of the currently planned replacement for the city’s pool.

Respondents were united in the areas they said were threats to the city’s future success with most citing a fear of too much growth and nearly as many mentioning what they characterized as the “growing homeless population” being major threats to the city.

Also cited by many were concerns that “overgrowth” in nearby Henderson would negatively impact everything from public safety resources to water consumption.

The next step in the process of drawing up a new plan for the council to vote on will be a committee workshop scheduled for April 18.

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