Community members gathered Tuesday evening for the second meeting of Ardmore Vision 2025. While the first meeting focused on brainstorming ideas about what people would most like to see in place by 2025, this meeting concentrated on creating specific goals.
Tables were labeled with the six categories Vision 2025 will be focusing on, and guest were asked to sit where they were most interested. These categories were: community, education, infrastructure, economic development/local jobs, retail development/re-development, and recycling beautification. Some of these categories were then further broken down into smaller elements to help focus the discussions taking place.
The meeting consisted of two parts. The first being to review the vision statement first created for Vision 2020 and determine if it is still relevant, if it needs to be modified, or if it should be entirely overhauled. Once the tables were happy with their new vision statement, Jodi Lewis, director of legislative affairs for the Oklahoma Municipal League, asked everyone to create a new set of goals. She stressed that while the goals need to be challenging, they must also be realistic. Most importantly they need to be measurable and have a specific date of completion.
Lewis along with City Manager J.D. Spohn and Ardmore Chamber of Commerce President Mita Bates then spent the evening going to the various tables and giving their feedback and expertise to help citizens come up with their goals.
Some of the goals discussed in the infrastructure area include creating a comprehensive five-year plan to handle drainage issues and developing a walkability plan. In the area of activities and recreation, one goal is to hire a single, marketing professional to be a spokesperson to get the word out about what is available. The table focusing on events and tourism came up with a goal of creating one signature event for Ardmore. The table focusing on higher education created goals including having a student housing partnership for the University Center in place by 2021 with on campus housing in place by 2025 and constructing a new building with classroom space, administrative offices, childcare, a student union and cafe by 2025.
The final meeting will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 29 at the Chickasaw Community Center. Lewis described the agenda for the meeting. Once again the individual tables will focus on specific areas.
“We’ll compile everything generated tonight and put it into an additional summary document,” Lewis said. “We’ll go through the goals and determine what do we have and what do we need to make these things happen, and we’ll also identify which partner groups within the community need to participate in order to get everything in place.”