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Neighbors debate future of Madison County

By By Jamie Ostroff, Reporter
Published On: Jun 19 2013 07:00:24 PM CDT

The people of Madison County are spending the week looking into the future.

SUGAR CITY, Idaho -

The people of Madison County are spending the week looking into the future.

It's all part of the Envision Madison project, which is hosting several public workshops throughout the week, where anyone can share their ideas.

"I think it's important for everybody to have their voice heard," said Elaine King, who lives in Sugar City and attended the first workshop Tuesday night. "I'm hoping a lot of people come."

A lot of people did come. Neighbors packed the Sugar City cafeteria, where the meeting was held.

"It should help the entire community in so many ways," said Mayor Glenn Dalling, knowing he wasn't the only one calling the shots.

"Our sewage problems, our water problems, our land use problems, especially. I hope there are a lot of answers and i think we're going to get some," Dalling said.

Everyone had a chance to share their ideas.

"I like to do outdoors things -- a lot of hiking, so anything I can do to preserve that kind of thing in the community, rather than just houses after houses," said Randall Miller, another Sugar City resident, before the workshop began.

the crowd used remote control clickers to weigh in on a survey, ranking the issues most important to them. Then, people broke off into groups, plotting out on maps how they'd like to see their community grow.

While most of the groups happily agreed on where to put housing, add transit lines and preserve farmland, there was a controversy in one corner.

"We elect people to represent us. They make plans, of course, with our input, and we hold them accountable to that plan," said Dan Roberts, a vocal opponent to Envision Madison. "If we create a plan that all of us decide we want, and then they adopt it, where's the accountability at?"

At the end of the workshops, a stakeholder committee made up of members from the public and private sectors will look at all of the designed maps. They will come up with a plan based on common themes. The plans could come together by the end of this year and will be presented at an open house whenever they're ready.

Another workshop will be held Wednesday night at 7:00 on the BYU-Idaho campus. The final workshop will be on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Madison High School.

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