Dunkirk Town Supervisor Richard Purol recently announced that his community is developing a new comprehensive plan.
The town board authorized their planning committee to lead the comprehensive plan process and at the recommendation of the planning board the town board appointed a team of consultants from MRB Group and Environmental Design Research to lead the process, which will take place over the next 18 months.
"We are very excited to work with the MRB Group/EDR team," Planning Committee Chairman Vincent Vecchiarella said. "We chose their team because of their willingness to better understand and involve our community stakeholders in the planning process."
Although they are independent engineering and architecture firms that each provide municipal planning services, MRB Group and EDR joined forces on the project in order to provide a stronger support system for the Town of Dunkirk.
"We each bring a different specialized expertise to the equation," Director of Business Development MRB Group Diana Smith said. "We created a project team that is an ensemble of specialized knowledge and experience specifically to help keep focus on the uniqueness, character and resources that define the quality of life in the Town of Dunkirk."
A steering committee was designated by Purol and will be led by Vecchiarella. Planning Committee members Craig Lyford, Shari Miller, Chris Penfold and Jay Warren will also serve on the steering committee, as well as Town Board member Juan Pagan and Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Mourer.
Both Purol and Vecchiarella have agreed that public participation is critical to the success of the planning process. They will be calling upon members of various groups in the community to participate in "Focus Group Meetings" where special concerns can be discussed. In addition, the consultants will help the committee prepare and distribute a community survey.
"We want everyone to be involved," Vecchiarella said. "The perspective of all town community members can contribute to the discussions; in the end this is a community plan and it should reflect the choices of our residents."
Anyone interested in joining a focus group should contact Town Clerk Jean Crane at 366-3967 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A public information meeting will be scheduled early in the process to generate interest and make sure residents understand the importance of participation.
Steering Committee meetings will be open to the public and the public will have the opportunity to comment.
To further establish public participation a website has been developed which will serve as a central source of information as well as a convenient means for residents to communicate with the steering committee.
Contact information for all committee members will be provided. On the websites status page a progress thermometer will keep residents informed of the plan's continuing development.