About 60 concerned citizens gathered in the City Council Chambers on Monday evening, September 16th, to hear council members discuss the “vision” of Sulphur Springs. The special workshop meeting was called by Mayor Norman Sanders, to discuss ideas and hear about past projects and long range plans for the city. Mr. Sanders tells KSST News that he is thrilled of the progress that the city has made with downtown, Coleman Park, and other projects, but wants to plan ahead for the next 20 years. He stated that he would like to build on the past successes, and plan for expansion of industry and the subsequent infrastructure needs that expansion would bring. One topic of concern raised by council member, Jimmy Lucas, was the ability to maintain future proposed projects with the current staff that the city already has in place. Mr. Lucas wants to seek out options of using free labor in the future to help out those departments he believes are underserved. Erica Armstrong also noted the need for “volunteerism” to help beautify the city. Armstrong said that encouraging local service clubs to donate their time in different areas could benefit the city and help foster civic pride.
Many citizens spoke during the public forum portion of the meeting, all in support of the job that the city has done in completing past projects and the ability to do so within strict budget requirements. A consistent theme from those citizens that spoke was the fact that Sulphur Springs is unique in the public spaces that the city enjoys for a city of our size. Some citizens spoke of the need for more housing in general, as well as more affordable housing. Although no quick solutions for encouraging more building inside the city limits were offered, the council as a whole seemed interested in that topic.
Mayor Sanders told KSST he was pleased with this first meeting and looked forward to having more of these “strategic planning” sessions for the future.