WINONA LAKE — Residents of Winona Lake got a first look at the town’s long-term vision for itself following Tuesday night’s regular town board meeting Tuesday, June 18.
According to Town Board President Rick Swaim, a steering committee first met June 27, 2018, to help formulate the beginnings of what will become the town’s new comprehensive plan, entitled “Winona Lake Imagine 2030.”
“We are taking a look at what we want to do as a town,” said Swaim.
After the adjournment of the regular board meeting, representatives of the Michiana Area Council of Governments, along with town employees and board members, hosted a presentation that allowed for community input from the residents in attendance.
Swaim said for the past year, the town has been receiving resident input, which has allowed for the first phase of goals and visions for the town’s future. The town has identified various assets or amenities already available in the town, as well as opportunities and challenges. The residents also identified core values. “You can see the different things that we saw as a group as important,” Swaim said.
The town, according to the initial report, is likely to see continued growth in both population and housing opportunities and the fledgling study shows the vast majority of the population — roughly 70 percent — have at least some college education.
In the past year, the steering committee has solicited the opinions of 642 residents and received 155 completed surveys in order to form the early framework for the plan.
On one display board, the committee revealed that residents are interested in fostering environmental stewardship, which includes continuing to protect the quality of the town’s lake water. Another finding was that despite having an abundance of biking and walking trails already, town residents are interested in upping the ante to add even more.
Swaim said input from Tuesday’s public hearing will be added to the plan as the document continues to evolve into the town’s permanent vision for the future.
The steering committee consists of Bill Katip, president, Grace College; Bruce Shaffner, former Winona Lake town council president; Craig Allebach, Winona Lake town manager; Craig Snow, Silveus Insurance Group, Inc.; David M Turner, Winona Lake Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals; Gene Seiman, Winona Lake building commissioner; Greg Demopoulos, KCV Cycling; Holly Hummitch, Winona Lake parks director; Jennifer Harting, Winona Lake utility clerk; Jill Serbousek, Winona Lake BZA; Jim Lancaster, Zimmer Biomet and town council member; John Teevan, Stonehenge HOA; Kent Adams, Winona Lake clerk-treasurer; Meghan Lincoln, Winona Lake deputy clerk; Nate Bosch, Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams and Grace College; Nick Hauck, The Village at Winona; Rich Haddad, K21 Health Foundation; Swaim, town council president; and Terry White, Winona History Center and Grace College.