Local citizens met at FSCC for a Fort Scott Visioning meeting to discuss some of the future plans, projects and needs in Fort Scott.
After an introduction Chris Allen sang with his guitar while a video played showing pictures of some of the projects backed by the Fort Scott Visioning Committee including the expanded facilities at Buck Run, the new pool, and the Pennies for the Park world record.
Angie Bower, a Public Square Colleague, spoke about how Public Square Communities work to help develop communities. Their efforts are trying to bring the four elements of government, education, human services and business to the table to work together. Fort Scott has been involved in the process with Public Square since 2005.
Fort Scott has been accredited by Public Square twice. The first time was in 2009 and the second was in 2011. This is a peer review process where other communities assess the things being done in Fort Scott.
Clayton Tatro talked about some of the teams in Fort Scott like the Youth Action Team, the Good Neighbor Focus Team and the Riverfront Project. He discussed the need to start thinking about what the next stage is in developing “visioning 2.0”. He also reviewed some of the successes made by local teams toward their goals.
Mallory Shelton, a senior from Fort Scott, talked about a project the involved talking to high school students to ask about their view of the future of the Fort Scott community. She said that the students wanted to avoid feeling like they were “stuck” in Fort Scott, but have it to come home to. There were comments about how safe and open Fort Scott is and how that is a good place to raise a family.
The students mentioned a need to have some type of place to go in town like a bowling alley.
The people present broke up into three groups for break out sessions to discuss projects that would benefit Fort Scott. There were a number of suggestions including:
- Putting a coffee shop downtown.
- Trying to address education in letting young people understand what they can do if they are willing to work hard.
- Some type of youth gathering place other than just the Keyhole.
- The need for better Internet infrastructure.
- The need to try to tie assistance to people based on the ability to work in order to steer the community toward a proper balance.
- The possibility of creating more second story living downtown.
- Trying to better sell the benefits of the community to senior citizens.
- Options for using tax funds to fix up or encourage owners to fix up downtown buildings.