Blythewood area residents will soon have the opportunity to tell the town what they think about its services and amenities — and what they’d like to see on the drawing board for the future.
The town council and planning commission will survey residents with 29016 zip codes this spring to get input on the town’s mission, vision for the next three years, and specific projects to make that vision a reality. The survey is a key component of developing those plans, said Blythewood Mayor Bryan Franklin following a three-hour open-to-the-public strategic planning session Saturday at Doko Manor.
“We want to get responses from all stakeholders, inside and outside the town limits,” Franklin said. “We want them to have input into our mission, vision, values and objectives so they’ll understand what we’re doing and why.”
They survey could cover a wide range of topics, from safety in Doko Park to the need for more sidewalks, interest in an expanded recreation complex and annexation into the town for those in nearby unincorporated areas of Richland County. Support for a penny sales tax to help pay for enhancements is another possible topic. Franklin said the town currently collects no taxes or millage from residents, relying on business license fees, utility franchise fees and a share of the state’s hospitality taxes for revenue.
Franklin said the council and planning commission will partner on the survey, aiming for feedback before the council’s budget meeting in late March or early April.
About two dozen residents attended Saturday’s open meeting, with another eight watching a live stream of the meeting on the town’s website.
“It was a great start,” Franklin said. “It wasn’t the be-all, end-all — we’re going to continue to get more opinions.”
The council’s next regular meeting is Monday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. at Doko Manor.
Meetings are open to the public and live-streamed and recorded on the town’s website at www.townofblythewoodsc.gov.