PITTSFIELD, Ill. -- The city of Pittsfield is moving forward with developing a strategic plan.
The Pittsfield City Council authorized Economic Development Director Megan Newman to commit the city to the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs' MAPPING the Future of Your Community program. The program helps communities with populations of less than 18,000 to develop a long-range plan for economic development.
Newman said she is creating a steering committee and that community input will be critical along the way.
MAPPING program staff will hold five sessions from October to November in Pittsfield to listen to what residents say is important to the community.
"At the end, we'll leave with a workable plan and with specific action items," Newman said of the program.
Newman estimates that participation in the program will cost the city about $3,500. Western Illinois University, which houses the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, will provide a discount because the median income in the community is lower than the state average. Newman also said she will be soliciting sponsorships from local businesses.
The final plan will be presented in a town hall meeting.
"It's a great value for the city, and it provides us with access to the institute's resources," she said. "It's a good opportunity for the people of Pittsfield. It gives everyone a voice and a seat at the table."
Newman said anyone wanting to participate can call her at city hall at 217-285-4484.