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Miami County plans to start gathering public input about a new county comprehensive plan that is currently in the works.

County commissioners voted 5-0 in March to contract with Olsson, Inc. dba Ochsner Hare & Hare, the Olsson Studio to provide Miami County with a comprehensive plan for $125,000. Olsson ranked highest during a request for qualifications (RFQ) process among firms being considered for the project.

Olsson Vice President Ken Boone met with county commissioners during study sessions early in the year to talk about the project. Boone has worked on numerous comprehensive plans, including one most recently for Leavenworth County.

County Administrator Shane Krull said in an earlier interview it is customary for counties to develop a new comprehensive plan every seven to 15 years.

Miami County last updated its comprehensive plan in 2004. Work on the new plan was to begin last spring but was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A series of stakeholder meetings will take place in the coming months to help craft the comprehensive plan, still in its infancy, with the first public open house currently scheduled for Feb. 4.

The new comprehensive plan will build upon previous plans, balancing urban development with rural lifestyles to ensure the county can continue to sustainably grow and develop to accommodate the needs of its residents, county officials said.

The plan will also assess the current state of the county, identify the county’s biggest assets and future challenges, and set forth policies for future land use, transportation, recreation, quality of life, and natural resource management, according to a county news release.

The comprehensive plan project website is now live at www.miamicountyksplan.com.

The public is encouraged to visit the project website to sign up for notifications of upcoming public input opportunities. Beginning Friday, Oct. 30, through Sunday, Dec. 20, a public survey will also be available on the project website, according to the news release. Paper copies of the survey are available upon request.

All inquiries and requests should be directed to Teresa Reeves, county planning and zoning director, at 913-294-9553, or email planning@miamicountyks.org.

News Editor Doug Carder can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or doug.carder@miconews.com.

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