Big Spring will follow a new â€śroad mapâ€ť when dealing with future growth.
During its Monday meeting, the city council voted 5-0 (Mayor Larry McLellan and Raul Benavides were absent) to authorize a comprehensive overhaul of the city's master plan, which officials said will serve as a guidepost of sorts as the city deals with growth issues brought on by the shale oil boom and other factors.
â€śIt's like you want to go to Dallas, but you don't have a road map. How do you know which direction to go?â€ť City Finance Director Peggy Walker said. â€śWe're already looking at bringing light retail and housing divisions in â€¦ we don't want to have heavy commercial businesses next door to those. You've got to have a plan in place so you can deal with those sort of issues and that's what the master plan will do.â€ť
The council authorized the architectural firm of Freese and Nichols to rewrite the city's master plan and also approved an expenditure not to exceed $225,000 to finance the project. While that amount proved to be a sticking point for some council members â€” particularly Mayor Pro Temp Marcus Fernandez â€” Walker said it is possible the city won't have to spend a penny for the project.
â€śI feel very confident that the (Big Spring Economic Development Corp.) will supply the money for this,â€ť she said. â€śBut we have to have the financing in place before (Freese and Nichols) can begin work on the master plan.â€ť