Boaz is working to create a comprehensive plan for the first time since 1975, and its leaders are doing so with the community’s voice.

The first of multiple “vision” meetings was held at Snead State Community College on Tuesday, July 16. Jason Fondren, of KPS Group, led the discussion about the city’s long-term vision for the future.

During the meeting, Fondren had everyone in attendance share what they each thought were assets and issues within Boaz.

Trey Thompson, 22, of Boaz, said he felt like the meeting went well, but he hopes city leaders contemplate all input, both from people young and old.

“I think they had some good ideas,” Thompson said. “As far as attracting younger people, I don’t know if that’s what the mayor is looking at. To attract younger people, he’s talking about focusing on the library. That’s not going to attract young people, I think. I think he needs to focus on the roads out here, the appearance. That’s actual quality of life, not the library. That’s not going to change the quality of life. That’s a nice thing to have, but working to fix sidewalks and decorating for the holidays and things like that, that would increase quality of life and make people happier to want to drive more into Boaz. That gives incentives for businesses to come here.”

One goal discussed was an idea to further expand the city’s relationship with Snead State Community College to make the downtown area more student-friendly.

“It’s walking distance,” Thompson said. “If we had coffee shops, bagel shops, anything there – we have all these kids here that have nowhere to go, so they go outside of Boaz to get food. If you bring those things in here, we’re already in walking distance so they could leave class, grab a coffee and have a little study session in there.”

One of the only issues Thompson had was the small number of attendants. He said it felt like the meeting was “last-minute.” There were also complications getting to the meeting because, being relatively new to the area, Thompson said he didn’t know where to go, and there wasn’t adequate signage to help direct him. He said that may have deterred others from coming to the meeting as well.

The next session has not been scheduled, but the City of Boaz intends to release the meeting date as soon as possible.

To share input with the city, there is an online survey posted to the city’s website at cityofboaz.org and shared on the city’s Facebook page for people to complete. For more information, contact city hall at 256-593-8105.

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