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Strategic plan seeks leadership, action

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By Thomas Barr

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - If you don’t have a plan, you never know where you are going.

And you don’t know if you reach your intended destination.

A group of concerned citizens wrapped up nearly a year of meetings with the formal presentation of a strategic plan for Bullitt County to fiscal court members.

State Rep. Linda Belcher, who organized the group, and Lou Ann Moore, president of the Bullitt County Chamber of Commerce, were given a few moments to make the presentation to court members.

“Planning is extremely important for our county,” said Belcher.

As a legislator, Belcher said it was very important for the county to have a unified list of wants and needs when she is in Frankfort with Sen. Paul Hornback fighting to get funds returned to area projects.

A consensus of the group was that the following were the top five priorities in Bullitt County:

*Construction of a permanent college campus. Funding is being sought in phases for the new Jefferson Community and Technical College campus to be built on property donated by Bullitt County government at the corner of Interstate 65 and Highway 245.

*Updating the comprehensive land-use plan. This project has been in the works for years. By law, it must be updated every five years but there have not been significant changes since 1997.

*A single point of communication for the county that connects citizens and business and industry to services available. Also, a goal to improve the image of the community.

*Address infrastructure issues and have a plan for projects to be requested in the state budget process.

Although not proud to admit it, Belcher said, Bullitt County is lagging behind and much of that deals with factions not working together on a common theme.

One important task is to have a vision and a mission statement.

The committee’s vision was for the county to be the state’s leader in the quality of life, business and economic development and the education of its citizens.

The mission is to advance the well-being of the people and businesses of the county through ethical leadership, good stewardship of the natural and created resources and respect for all who live and work in the community.

The plan broke down the areas into topics such as leadership, infrastructure and quality of life.

In terms of leadership, the plan broke that down into several areas of focus. Belcher said the elected leaders of the county must provide the leadership to accomplish many of the goals set out in the plan.

That leadership would be needed to push the college forward, to get the comprehensive update completed, to help in the state redistricting efforts, to get more citizens involved in the electoral process and to improve the image.

During its Oct. 13 meeting to look at all the committee work, the most critical priorities came in the leadership area.

The group noted a lack of county leadership as a major issue. Notes listed poor communication, no centralized communication of existing resources, no government leadership support of activities and businesses, short-term but no long-term goals and no land-use plan.

Moore said the good point is that the county has much strength and all should be capitalized on. She pointed to the strong spirit of entrepreneurship, a strong business community, Interstate 65 and proximity to Louisville International Airport as keys to promote.

The real work now begins, said Belcher. Committees will be tackling all the issues raised in the strategic plan.