The Larimer County Community Development Division’s Rural Team is back up and running with rural area outreach efforts that ask residents about their long term rural area vision.

The community meetings begin again on Feb. 24 in Berthoud at 6 p.m. at the Berthoud Area Community Center at 248 Welch Ave. A meeting at Cache La Poudre Middle School, 3515 W. County Road 54G in LaPorte, takes place March 6 at 6 p.m.

Additional meetings have been scheduled at Poudre Canyon Community Center and at the Big Thompson Middle School. Meetings will also be scheduled for Drake, Pinewood Springs and Rist Canyon. A complete list and location map are available at www.larimer.org/planning/planning/areavision. A subscription service has also been added to this site to inform subscribers of any updates to the webpage.

This rural vision project consists of two phases: Phase I – Gathering Information with a focus on community meetings and on-line input opportunities; and Phase II- Evaluation, consisting of follow-up reporting and identifying next steps. Community meetings have already been held in Red Feather Lakes, Crystal Lakes, Livermore, Buckeye, Waverly, Wellington and Fort Collins.

The big question concerns long term vision according to Larimer County Community Development Director Terry Gilbert, “the big picture question is ‘What’s your rural area vision and what needs to be improved or changed?’ We’re also trying to learn more about what residents want easy access to with regards to conveniences such as: groceries, gas stations, banking, and repair services. We also want to know what types of support service/businesses farmers and ranchers would like to see located closer to their operations and is there an ability co-locate these support service/businesses near or on their operations? Lastly, what do residents like or dislike about the services provided by the county?”

Some topics discussed in areas already visited include: water resources, fire management, taxation, county resources and regulations, property use, transportation, rural living, rural/urban and farms/ranches, recreation and communication.

The staff-assisted meetings provide an opportunity for citizens to make comments and ask questions.

Citizens are encouraged to attend the meetings to help direct their future and that of their rural area. Their thoughts will be captured and used for the Phase II Evaluation portion of the project. After that a second set of public meetings will be held to report the discoveries, findings and identify next steps.

The team understands that different areas of the county may have different thoughts and desires and attending a meeting in their area would be helpful. However, citizens are welcome to attend any area meeting.

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