The results are in
The Nemaha County county-wide survey results are in and the Nemaha County Planning Commission (NCPC) is close to finalizing a draft comprehensive plan to present to the Nemaha County Commissioners.
According to NCPC Vice-Chairman Galen Ackerman, the NCPC is working on finalizing a draft of the comprehensive plan and sent “30 to 40 edits” to Dick Horton with Horton Consulting following their Feb. 27 meeting. Horton will present another final draft to the NCPC at their March 27 meeting, however, according to Ackerman, there is one final item on their agenda for discussion.
Once the final draft comprehensive plan is complete, there will be public meetings held in Sabetha and Seneca to discuss the document. The dates of these meetings are to be determined. Following the public meetings, the NCPC can make any or no changes to the draft before voting on the document. The final document will need to have majority approval by the NCPC, before it will be submitted to the Nemaha County Commissioners.
Once the Nemaha County Commissioners — Ben Glace, Jason Koch and Dylan Keim — receive the comprehensive plan. They can vote to either accept, reject or send the plan back for further work.
If the comprehensive plan is accepted, the Nemaha County Commissioners have the ability to discuss the possibility of zoning the county. Zoning was the driving force behind creating a comprehensive plan for the county after the Soldier Creek Wind Project was approved and built in 2019. However, the topic of zoning may never be discussed amongst the commissioners.
County-wide Survey Results
The county-wide survey, which was sent out to residents in the fall, show Nemaha County resident’s opinions regarding life in Nemaha County.
Jason Morado with ETC Institute — a marketing research firm in Olathe — presented the results of the survey in January. According to Morado the purpose of the survey was to identify needs and preferences of residents to assist in developing a new comprehensive plan for Nemaha County. Morado said 945 surveys were completed, which exceeded the goal of 400.
Below is a summary of the survey results:
• Residents have a very positive perception of Nemaha County. Ninety-two percent of residents rated Nemaha County as an Excellent or good place to raise children, and 88 percent of residents rated Nemaha County as an Excellent or good place to live.
• The five most important issues for the county to address over the next five years are quality schools, affordable housing, attracting/retaining youth and young families, protecting rural character, and maintaining/strengthening family values.
• Sixty-four percent of respondents are opposed to the addition of more industrial wind turbines in Nemaha County, while 22 percent are supportive.
• Top priorities for parks and recreation facilities and amenities are walking/hiking/biking trails; indoor recreation space; and community arts, theatre, music and dance.
•The most important factors in retaining residents and attracting new residents are quality schools, job opportunities, and availability of a variety of types of housing.
The full presentation can be viewed at https://www.nmcoks.us/planning-commission.