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Town needs volunteers to help plan future

The town board is looking for a people with a desire to shape the future to participate in planning Parkland. Board members are seeking volunteers willing to add their voice to shape the town's comprehensive plan. "We're working with the county o...

The town board is looking for a people with a desire to shape the future to participate in planning Parkland.

Board members are seeking volunteers willing to add their voice to shape the town's comprehensive plan.

"We're working with the county on this," said Parkland Supervisor Bill Hesselgrave. "The town board has been trying to not get on the planning committee because we're also the ones who have to approve it."

The three-member board has had just one volunteer step forward to participate in the planning process. At the last comprehensive planning session in Parkland, town board members were the only persons to participate.

Wisconsin's smart growth law requires the town and county to adopt a comprehensive plan for managing development by 2010.

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"The sad thing is that when the county sent out those (comprehensive planning) surveys, only 17 percent in the town of Parkland returned them," said Parkland Supervisor Nathan Johnstad.

Failure to participate in the process can have lasting effects on the community. After all, if the town doesn't adopt its own plan, Douglas County would be required under the state law to adopt one for Parkland. And that could mean plans that don't fit the community, Johnstad said.

"If we don't participate now, when something comes up, we won't have a say so," Hesselgrave said. "If they want to put an industrial park over here -- and we have not participated -- we wouldn't have a say so."

Johnstad said people from all walks of life, all age groups, are welcome to participate in the planning process. He would like to see younger people involved in the planning because they are the ones who would have to live with the decisions years from now.

"I'm very serious," Johnstad said. "We need some town people for this comprehensive planning. It's not going to be an awful lot of work. We need some input, ideas, sharing of ideas to put this thing together... We're looking for concerned citizens to come forward and tell us how you'd like to see your town look in the next 20, 30 years."

Northwest Regional Planning Commission is working with people to help guide the process and train people about the requirements.

Anyone interested in getting involved is welcome to attend a comprehensive planning meeting following the 6 p.m. Parkland Sanitary District meeting in the town hall, 221 E. Veterans Drive. Town supervisors estimate the meeting will get underway at 7 p.m.

Contact Shelley Nelson at (715) 395-5022 or snelson@superiortelegram.com .

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