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Board of Supervisors approves updated comprehensive plan

Board of Supervisors approves updated comprehensive plan

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WAHOO – For the first time since 2004, the Saunders County comprehensive plan will be updated. 

On July 29, the Saunders County Board of Supervisors approved a proposal by Keith Marvin of Marvin Planning Consultants (MPC) for an update to the county’s comprehensive plan.

“I think we need to do it,” District 1 Supervisor Dave Lutton said. And with that, all seven supervisors approved the proposal. 

The goal of a comprehensive plan is to help county officials define where county growth should happen, according to Saunders County Zoning Administrator George Borreson.  

Marvin and his company will work to update the plan with a budget of $41,900, taking an estimated 14 to 18 months. During this time period, MPC will conduct meetings with the Saunders County Planning Commission and the county board and hold public forums in order to accurately update the plan. They will also be updating the zoning regulations, which have not been updated since 2015, according to Borreson. 

Marvin said he is interested in seeing how different the 2004 comprehensive plan is from the new plan because of technological advances and new members of the Saunders County community. 

With Marvin’s experience working with 60 counties throughout Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and other states in the Midwest, he is confident that working with the public is the most important way to conduct the update of a comprehensive plan. 

“I’m not coming in here with a preconceived concept of what Saunders County should look like,” Marvin said. “My job is to pull that information out from the people that I’m working with, and the public, so that we can take that feedback and put it into something that’s in the format to help guide things.” 

Because of COVID-19, MCP will work to find ways to still be able to procure public comment, Marvin said. 

During the meeting, the board also approved an estimated cash advance of $4,134.24 for the mass mailing of early voting ballots applications for the general election in November presented by Saunders County Clerk Patti Lindgren, who also serves as the county’s election commissioner. 

This advance roughly covers the postage for the number of registered voters in Saunders County, according to Lindgren. Lindgren also reported that the advance will fluctuate based on how much postage is, and if there is a surplus the remainder will go toward the printing of the two-part application.

The applications for ballots will be mailed to voters during the first week of August while ballots will be mailed Sept. 28. 

According to Lindgren, the goal behind the mass mailing of the early voting ballots is to keep in-person voting numbers down to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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