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Bannock County Comprehensive Plan 20 year Vision

October 28, 2018 GMT

Bannock County is planning a 20-year Vision of what the county should focus on. The date of this gathering is Tuesday, Oct. 30, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the ISU Pond Student Union Building ‘Wood River Room’ on the 2nd floor. This is a ‘should attend’ event for all residents of Bannock County.

Interest in local issues sometimes falls to the background when people are focused on statewide or national politics. However, local issues are extremely important to all of us. And so it is with Bannock County. Our area is growing in population, business operations, and the need for access to the beautiful trails, vistas and sites to be found all around here.

Because we live here, our interests in what takes place is paramount. Further, as local residents, we have a responsibility to provide guidance relative to how, why and where our county will be enhanced, changed and or cared for.

Unfortunately, some residents are of the opinion that it is not necessary to be involved in plans for the future. Sometimes those residents also believe that complaining after the fact is easier than showing prior interest. The result of that method of thinking can be frustration and less effective use of funds, planning and time spent by the county.

So think about what you believe to be important relative to the future of Bannock County. Ask friends what their concerns are and then discuss issues in a small group. It really helps all of us if we find out what others think about an issue. Beyond discussion, take a drive through the county and note what you believe to be in need of help, change, development or whatever.

Those in charge of developing a Comprehensive Plan for the county are not interested in merely making a list of their work evidenced concerns. Instead, they are focused on understanding resident concerns as to shaping future improvements. The identification of issues is important as a reflection of what residents want, need or wish for.

A map (or maps) will be placed in the room where the meeting will take place so those in attendance can note what areas they see as needing attention. To be prepared, we all need to consider that Bannock County includes part of the upper area of American Falls Dam in the Aberdeen area, much of the Fort Hall Reservation, then down through part of the Caribou Forest to midway between Downy and Malad. While a very general description, this can provide a glimpse of the square miles composing Bannock County.

It is important to understand that when decisions are made relative to the comprehensive plan, they must take into consideration the interests of the entire county and not just a special group. It is also important to remember that regulatory decisions must provide only reasonable restrictions and that benefits would apply to the entire community.

The Bannock County Comprehensive Plan provides a wonderful framework for advance, protection and improvement. Only if citizens are interested in the future of our County can the task be established with a certainty provided by citizen input. So, come to the meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 30. It will be interesting, provide for lots of congenial conversation, enable all of us to meet new residents in our County and perhaps most important, provide an opportunity for residents to lay claim to the future of Bannock County.