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Planning Commission wants for consultant to continue

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The Jamestown Planning Commission is requesting the city of Jamestown continue the services of SRF Consulting. The request was made during the commission’s regular meeting Tuesday.

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SRF Consulting has provided reviews and recommendations for zoning changes and new plats coming before the commission for all of 2013. Fees for the service have been paid by the Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp.

For 2014, the city will pay the consulting fees although the budget does not include a specific line item for planning services.

“The intent of the city is to continue services,” said Jeff Fuchs, city administrator. “Staff reports would be done internally while SRF would provide more technical services.”

Staff reports have been prepared by SRF for each zoning change or plat and include recommendations on how to proceed. If done internally, the task would fall to the city zoning administrator or city engineer’s office.

Harley Trefz, member of the Planning Commission, said without a budget, it would be difficult for staff members to access consulting services.

Jane Trautman, another commission member, said Jamestown had a need for professional planning services.

“Especially now with the possibilities of growth we have, we need these types of experts,” she said.

The motion to request that the City Council fund SRF consulting at a level of at least $35,000 for 2014 passed unanimously.

The Planning Commission also heard a report from City Engineer Reed Schwartzkopf on the status of the Jamestown Land Use and Transportation Plan.

The plan is being prepared by RDG Planning and Design and KLJ Engineering at a cost of $343,000. The plan is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2014.

“The first round of meetings is done,” Schwartzkopf said. “The discussions have been on the transportation component as well as the land use. They are trying to get into the youth area a little more.”

Part of the first round of meetings were stakeholder meetings where selected leaders from various industry groups met with interviewers from the companies preparing the plan.

Clarice Liechty, former mayor of Jamestown, challenged whether meetings between the people preparing the study and the industry stakeholders should have been public.

Schwartzkopf said the public comment component of the plan will come later and would attempt to engage everyone in the community.

Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at knorman@jamestownsun.com

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