The City of Athens Long Range Planning Committee open house is set for December 10.

The meeting will be held at Trinity Valley Community College. More details of the meeting are pending.

"Tell your friends and neighbors that this is the direction of the city for the next 10 to 15 years," Mayor Monte Montgomery said. "We need your input and we need all citizens aware of this."

Norris Design, with offices in Dallas and Austin was chosen in July as the company to do a Master Plan Update and Review. The goal is to stimulate new development in the downtown area and find the proper location for parking.

Company officials called for major public meetings to help them understand the community and its desires. Rich Leisner of Norris Design said the steering committee will help the firm stay on target

Montgomery said design company officials said turnout for the meetings is generally low although important decisions are being made.

"We need to get out in force and voice our opinions and think about the direction the city is going," Montgomery said.

When the meetings are completed the company will work up and present three scenarios for the future of Athens and ideas on how to achieve them. Sometimes parts and pieces of all three scenarios can be put together to make a preferred scenario.

The timetable for completion of the project is about a year. The committee members and officials will consider the existing long range plan, created about 20 years ago, while creating the new one.

"We'll certainly look at that and see where we are, what we want to continue with and what we want to change because those ideas may not be the best for the citizens today." Montgomery said.

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