Mayor Bob Hall says Charlestown is preparing for major growth in the next 20 years by laying a foundation in 2014 and years to come.
Hall said city officials are adhering to a plan consisting of “The Five Es” to assure the rural city is prepared for the imminent expansion.
While it will take years for Charlestown to fully bloom from the encouragement of the east-end bridge and River Ridge Commerce Center development, Hall said 2014 will be significant year for city leaders to act in preparation.
Hall said the five-point plan was put into effect in 2000, after the city developed a vision team.
The vision team has already completed an enormous amount of work since being established, Hall said, adding that a lot of heavy lifting is still ahead.
The plan consists of Enlarging our Vision; Enhancing the City; Economic Development; Enriching Quality of Life; and Emergency Preparedness.
ENLARGING OUR VISION
Hall said to gain the best perspective into the city’s future, a group effort is needed. And, he will rely on the vision team in the next year to collaborate on the initiative Charlestown 2020.
“We will look to where we need to position ourselves,” Hall said of the initiative. “It will help us make sure what we are doing stands true to what we want to become.”
By taking time to predict where Charlestown will be in 2020, Hall said a common vision will be created among community members and city leaders.
“It will help all the other entities [business, schools, community organizations] develop a common direction so you are not spending resources against each other as everybody is working to enhance the community,” he said. “We want everybody on the same game plan.”
While Hall has high hopes for the future of Charlestown, he knows it will be a long process before the city realizes its expected growth.
“Massive changes happen over long period of time,” he said, adding that Charlestown is in a critical planning phase.
Hall said he compares Charlestown’s development to the construction of house.
“A guy will start building a house and you drive by it every day and it seems nothing has happened,” he said. “But, once the foundation is set, you can go by two days later and there is a structure. That is where we are at, we are building a foundation ... and, in the next 10 years that house is going to pop up.”