It’s been 15 years since Baldwin County drafted its last strategic development plan and many things have changed since then. County leaders are asking for public input as they work on a new one. The first of two public forums is at 6 p.m. Thursday, February 13, 2020 at the Central Annex in Robertsdale.
Managing growth in the fastest growing county in the state was the biggest challenge in 2006 when the last strategic plan was developed and that remains the same in 2020. The key is to understand what parts of the county will be seeing the most growth. Doing that effectively will take cooperation between public and private entities.
“Cooperation is key in anything you do. It doesn’t matter what line of work you’re in, whether it’s government of private business. When you cooperate with one another and communicate with one another, you share each other’s goals. You can work together for a better future,” said Baldwin County Administrator, Wayne Dyess.
That kind of cooperation is now paying off with Baldwin County Schools. The county has seen more than a billion dollars in new development over the last five years, most of that being residential. The first new schools in 10 years are now being built in five communities across the county. The School Board and developers and are now working together to plan for school growth years in advance.
“Just like in Stonebridge. We’ve got a development…a school that’s going in in Stonebridge, off 31. That’s a partnership with a developer,” said Baldwin County Schools superintendent, Eddie Tyler. “I mean, it really is exciting to see these things happening.”
County Leaders said this kind of cooperation between the public and private sector is more important now than ever. At the public forums, they want to hear what issues are important to the citizens so they can be addressed in the new strategic plan.
“Tonight, we just hope to get good feedback. What are they facing in the next five to ten years? What issues do they see? What issues should we be addressing and spending more time on? This whole process will allow us to set goals and from a county perspective, kind of align our resources, some of our functions, some of our policy decisions on ways to meet those goals,” explained Dyess.
The public forums are scheduled for February 13th and 20th, 2020 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. in the auditorium at the Central Annex on Palmer St. in Robertsdale. County commissioners hope to have the new plan drafted and in place by May and will be designed to guide development over the next five years.