Athens Residents Want Shops, Restaurants: Survey Deadline is Friday

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ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – Athens residents have until Friday to submit their ideas for what the city should become over the next 20 years by filling out an online survey.

Already, city planners are learning what’s driving some residents–and their tax dollars–away from home.

With nearly 22,000 people living in Athens, city administrators want to give them every reason to stay close in terms of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

“We’re actually preparing a vision for Athens.. a future land use and development plan,” said Mac Martin, the Athens City Planner.

Martin admits he has been learning a lot from surveys submitted online by residents over the last month.

“There’s a desire to see more larger chains in the community, more sit-down restaurants and more specialty shopping items,” said Martin.  “Those are, in large part, are items that the community citizens are going elsewhere to shop for.”

The 46-question survey asks for feedback about all kinds of things contributing to quality of life, to be considered in determining how the city develops over the next 10 to 20 years.

One problem, right now, for residents is traffic.

“They feel like traffic is going by too fast and traffic in general is a concern,” said Martin.  “They want us, the city administration, to figure out how to address traffic in their community and also availability of other transportation facilities, like sidewalks and bicycle paths.”

It’s all information that will be reflected in the plan for Athens that adminstrators hope will keep residents–and their tax dollars– home.

As for the survey, Martin says hard copies can be picked up and filled out at the city’s Public Works Department.

He added there will be several town hall meetings coming up for more public feedback, although the dates and locations for those meetings have not been determined.

The goal for city administrators is to have a long-range plan drawn up by December 2013.

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