Laramie residents will have the chance to voice their thoughts, desires and questions about economic development in Laramie during tonight’s ward meetings around the city.
Every time a month has a fifth Tuesday, the Laramie City Council hosts ward meetings where each of the council members will meet in their respective wards to hear from residents in an informal, meet-and-greet-style meeting.
During tonight’s meetings, residents will have the chance to voice initial opinions on the city’s Thrive Laramie 10-year economic development plan currently being compiled by consulting group Fourth Economy.
“That’s something that we have been focusing on is economic development for the purpose of giving the city a stable economy,” Mayor Joe Shumway said.
Residents can also discuss the results of the Thrive Laramie Community Survey conducted as part of the plan’s development. The survey, which has received more than 550 responses since mid-September, is live through the end of October and can be accessed online at http://bit.ly/thrivelaramie.
While no formal presentations are planned, council members and city staff will be there to answer questions and hear from constituents. The city and consultants felt it was so important it should “be something that we could bring up in a discussion if it wasn’t brought up,” Shumway said.
“These meetings to me are just a listening session for the City Council,” Shumway said. “When we meet, this meeting is theirs. We’re there to listen and take notes and get back to them on any questions they may have, which is what we’ve done in the past.”
In June, the council approved hiring consulting firm Fourth Economy to draft a new 10-year economic development plan.
During the six-month planning period this fall, the consultants are gathering community feedback through the resident survey as well as a 36-member steering committee, which has different community stakeholders from a variety of sectors, including elected officials, city staff, local business leaders and nonprofits.
The steering committee has hosted a series of live-streamed build sessions where members identified key strategies, goals and ideas in different areas, including tourism, housing, infrastructure and entrepreneurship.
Beyond the survey, residents are encouraged to participate by chatting with officials during city or community events, including tonight’s ward meetings.
Residents of Ward 1, which includes West Laramie, the West Side neighborhood and downtown to Ninth Street, meet at Laramie Fire Station No. 3, 2374 Jefferson St.
Those who live in Ward 2 will meet at City Hall, 406 Ivinson Ave. The ward includes the middle of town from Ninth Street to 15th Street and Corthell Road and from Bill Nye Avenue in the south to north of Buford Street.
Residents of Ward 3, which covers everything east of 15th Street and Corthell Road, meet at Laramie Fire Station No. 2, 1558 North 23rd St.
More information about Thrive Laramie can be found at www.cityoflaramie.org/1080/Economic-Development.