PRINCETON — A newly-established Mercer County Planning Commission will soon begin formulating a plan designed to help the county grow, one new member said Friday.
The Mercer County Commission recently held its third and final reading for an ordinance creating a new Mercer County Planning Commission. During that same meeting Sept. 8, the commission appointed and swore in nine members.
“Once we did a third reading, it pretty much established the validity of the commission,” County Commissioner Greg Puckett said. Puckett is a member of the new entity. Some members served on a previous planning commission.
“Members were chosen by sector and geographical position in the county. We definitely wanted a mix of past and also the future going forward.”
A planning commission has not met in Mercer County since 2000. A planning commission would create a comprehensive plan that would look at categories such as economic development, infrastructure, business protections and other issues, Puckett said.
The county commission will work with the West Virginia School of Law to develop a comprehensive plan, Puckett stated, adding that by working with the school, the county could save taxpayers as much as $60,000.
“They’re going to guide us through the process of how to devise a comprehensive plan,” he said. Plans currently call with meeting in October to begin work.
“I think what they’re going to do is have us do some data analysis and a visual documentation of the county and show visually through photos and stories where we are in the county. Hopefully we can come up with a good plan that includes land use, business and economy.”
The planning commission will make recommendations to the Mercer County Commission, Puckett said. The commission can then adopt the comprehensive plan or parts of it. If the planning commission suggested any new regulations, they would be subject to public hearings and comment, Puckett said.
The people appointed to the commission included: Puckett, with a term of Sept. 8, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2020. Members with terms running from Sept. 8, 2015 to Sept. 30, 2016 included Marc Meachum, Robert Farley and Will Stafford.
Members with two-year terms included Janet Bailey, Chandler Swope and Bill Hopkins. Their terms run from Sept. 8, 2015 to Sept. 30, 2017.
Members with three-year terms included Phillip Ball and Morris Clyburn. Their terms run from Sept. 8, 2015 to Sept. 20, 2018.