LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Every five years city officials in Lexington get together to map out the future of the city and they're asking for your help to bring ideas to the table.
When the historic Charles Young Center reopened in 2012 in the east end, the chair of the advisory board Charles Fields says many thought the odds of it staying open were 70-30. But 10 years it still stands as a flourishing anchor of the community.
"Recreation is a driving force here, but this community sort of set up on a program-driven atmosphere. I mean, you don't just come in and out. We wanted to make it strengthen to where it would be a sustainable force in this area," said Fields.
With that program-centered focus, the center is equipped with a full-size gym, senior center, a career, and workforce center, gathering space, reading rooms, and soon a splash park. Fields says seniors are the driving and most involved demographic. They participate in art classes, aerobics, and various other leadership roles at the center.
"That would be my mission period- to keep the seniors involved," said Fields.
But Fields says none of it would have been possible without community input and people being willing to ask the city for what they want.
"It's up to the neighborhoods to find the direction. When this center opened up, we had meetings in here. We had a task force almost a year and we had the community people here- everybody in and out of this building, downtown everywhere," said Fields. "It took good guidance from downtown with us coming together as a community to show what we wanted, and we made it happen."
That's exactly the model non-profit CIVICLEX is trying to get people across Lexington to participate in the city's "On The Table" community conversations.
"Which is a week of conversations all over Lexington in places people already go and restaurants and parks and libraries and it can be in their homes," said Evaluation Manager Kit Anderson.
The conversations will be centered around what people want to see in the future of Lexington to gather input and data to shape the city's most important planning document- the comprehensive plan.
"I think kind of the easiest way to start to understand how it affects your life day to day is to just look at the core themes of it right. So, the comp plan is built around the five themes of neighborhoods, the environment, jobs, transportation, and then urban and rural balance," said Anderson. "The way I think about it is that when the planners are building the new comp plan, it's like they have different ingredients for the recipe. So, public input is one ingredient. Their own research is one ingredient and then kind of the priorities of the local government of council of the commission is another."
Conversations will be held April 10-16.
For more information on how to participate and where to grab the materials you need, visit the attached link.