Rowlesburg residents to weigh in on community master plan during public meeting

ROWLESBURG — Rowlesburg area residents will have another opportunity to comment on their community’s plan for the future at a public meeting Wednesday.

The master plan is looking ahead to 2025. Last year, residents were asked to complete a community input survey to describe their vision of the town in the future, and about 325 did so.

There were two questions on the survey: “What do you see as  our biggest need in this area?” and “What do you recommend doing first?”

Many of the responses came through social media, and the plan can be viewed by joining the Rowlesburg Friends site on Facebook.

Tim Weaver, one of the writers of the plan, said it’s important to remember that Rowlesburg doesn’t end at the town boundaries.

“The Rowlesburg community is much bigger than just the Town of Rowlesburg,” Weaver said. “It really includes Manheim, the Salt Lick area, Erwin,  Macomber, Etam, Green Valley, everything between Laurel Mountain and Cheat Mountain, you might say, then south to the Preston County line.”

Three residents are spearheading the effort.  Weaver, who retired from Boston University, has expertise in writing strategic plans. Darrell Dean, also from the Rowlesburg area,  is a WVU professor emeritus  who worked on land use and planning. Sheila Coleman-Castellas consults at the state and federal levels.

They took on the challenge after Rowlesburg failed to obtain a grant to have a plan prepared. And having a plan is important for the town when it applies for grants in the future, Weaver said.

The 30-day comment period ends Aug. 9. Comments made will be included with the report, along with any corrections.

The final report will be  presented to town council Aug. 27. Council will be asked to adopt the plan then.

“Increasingly granting agencies, particularly the federal agencies like the Appalachian Regional Commission, they will not consider a proposal for implementing action or a project unless a community submitting the grant has a master plan,” Weaver said.

A public meeting to discuss Rowlesburg’s master plan will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday, at the Rowlesburg Community Building.

Previous ArticleNext Article