COFFEEVILLE – Supervisors opted not to hire an Oxford-based urban planning firm to develop a long-range, comprehensive plan for the county at Monday’s recessed meeting in Coffeeville.
Mike Slaughter, founder of Slaughter and Associates, made the return trip Monday to visit and pitch his services to the county. Slaughter first visited supervisors last August with a 20-minute presentation to explain how a long-range plan and possible land use ordinance, or zoning, could impact the county.
“I think everybody at this table realizes that somewhere down the road we are going to have to have a comprehensive plan and zoning,” Board President Tom-my Vaughn told Slaughter Monday. “But at this particular time I just don’t see it being a feasible alternative for this county, simply because of our size and our physical restraints for it. But I realize the necessity of it and I’m sure it is going to come down the road.”
Both District 3 Supervisor Lee McMinn and District 2 Supervisor Amos Sims expressed similar feelings about the plan.
McMinn pointed to the research Slaughter presented back in August that indicates slow growth in the county.
“If those trends were showing a tremendous amount of growth for our county I would put it near the top of the list.
Countering with a soft sales pitch, Slaughter explained that a comprehensive plan could have the potential of helping to reverse some of those trends.
“We are not just looking at land use control. We also look at other issues as far as jobs, retail establishments, education, things of that nature that could turn those trends around,” Slaughter said.
“Could you give me one or two examples of how that might be the case?” McMinn asked.
Slaughter explained that his firm would have public meetings to identify both strengths and weaknesses in the county, examining a range of key components of the county including shopping, education, housing and job opportunities.
In the meeting last August, Slaughter said his firm’s work would be performed on an hourly fee basis if the county hired his firm.