CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Businesses, stakeholders and citizens of Cape Girardeau have submitted about 1,300 ideas in person and online for the future of their city since October 2017.
The suggestions are part of the public input process that will influence the creation of a city-wide plan being called Cape Vision 2040.
City Planner Ryan Shrimplin said that the current comprehensive plan, which was implemented 10 years ago, has served its purpose and now that time has passed and the community has changed it's time for an update.
"We want this to be the people's plan, and something that is owned by the public," Shrimplin said. "A city is a living organism comprised of various systems. People, businesses, and neighborhoods change, so any plan that is intended for a city really needs to be able to change along with that."
Dan Presson, who lives in the Red Star neighborhood, attended the Cape Vision 2040 workshop in November that was organized by the city and their partnering consultant to share his ideas.
"I think the City has been very transparent with this process," Presson said. "I am very excited for the future of Cape Girardeau, and believe the vision planning process will help us create guidelines for future initiatives."
Participants at the most recent Cape To the Future Workshop on January 25th discussed different approaches to redeveloping the city, and Shrimplin said the most popular one by far was 'Retrofit & Redevelop.'
"It really places an emphasis on improving and reusing what we already have in the city as opposed to just expanding our borders further," he said.
Shrimplin added that the city-wide plan will also improve community services, infrastructure, parks and recreation, education, as well as highlight Cape's history and the people who live here.
"Cultural and social vibrancy is something that has been discussed at length during this process. It will be a significant component of the plan," Shrimplin said.
A plethora of information, pictures and diagrams that have been presented during workshops can be found at capevision2040.com.
Those that haven't yet, can also easily share their ideas and contribute to the second and third Quick Poll on the website, which uses a handful of multiple choice questions and only takes minutes to complete.
"My advice to those taking the poll is, to be honest, to dream big, to not look at limitations," Shrimplin said. "A lot of comments are positive, some comments are not, but it's all very important information for both the consultant and the city and the citizens to have in order to make this a viable plan."
Cape Vision 2040 is currently being drafted right now and will be revised before the public sees the plan during an Open house later this year.
Shrimplin said they will likely present the final plan to Cape's city council this May.