Attendees at the first Main Street Corridor public meeting hear consultant presentations at Gardner Senior Center on June 14. Photo courtesy of Rick Poppitz

Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner News
On June 14 at the senior center, Gardner held the first of a series of public meetings regarding the development of the Gardner Main Street Corridor Plan.
In October 2016, the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) approved an $112,500 grant to the city to support the implementation of the Main Street Corridor Plan. The city will contribute $37,500.
According to the October press release, the project aims to address goals, objectives and actions outlined in Gardner’s 2014 Comprehensive Plan regarding long-range growth, housing and transportation demands.
The Main Street Corridor Plan will be created through the efforts of consultants, a steering committee, public meetings and governing body.
This first public meeting on June 14 was from 5-8 p.m.
The first hour was presentation from each of the four project consultants.
A representative from the Kansas Department of Transportation also spoke to the attendees.
The consultants are – Confluence, a professional consulting firm comprised of landscape architects and planners. Collins, Noteis & Associates, urban and community planners. Wilson & Company, engineering, environmental, survey, mapping, and construction management services. Economic Planning Systems, Inc. offers economic, market, and financial analysis.
Elected officials in attendance at the June 14 meeting included Chris Morrow, mayor, and council members Kristina Harrison and Todd Winters.
City staff in attendance included Scott Garrie, parks and recreation director, Michael Kramer, public works director, Larry Powell, business and economic development director, and Alan Abramovitz, human resources manager.
After the presentations, the attendees broke into smaller groups to discuss issues and ideas.
A two day meeting is planned for July 12-13. Activities are scheduled from 8 a.m to 6 p.m. on the 12th and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the 13th.
A third public meeting is scheduled for Oct. 12.
The Main Street Corridor Plan also includes a Steering and Technical Committee.
The committee includes members from most of the city’s advisory boards, including several from the Planning Commission and Economic Development Advisory Committee.
New members are still being accepted.
There are five steering committee meetings scheduled in 2017, the last of which is Dec. 14.
The process is now in the data gathering phase. Through the summer it will transition to preliminary planning stage and finalize the plan late in the year.
Plan approval and adoption is projected for February 2018.
Upon completion of the corridor plan, it will be considered whether to retire the steering committee or extend it.