PRESTONSBURG – The City of Prestonsburg held a strategic planning meeting at the Mountain Arts Center (MAC) on Thursday. During the event, local citizens were asked what they though would benefit Prestonsburg, impact the most people and move the city in a positive direction.
Many Prestonsburg families and individuals have suffered through an economic downturn that has left many changing careers or simply asking where to turn next.
The meeting began at 6 p.m. as citizens discussed the heritage of the Star City and how its rich history impacts the perception of tourists and visitors coming to the area. The Jenny Wiley Theatre, East Kentucky Science Center, Middle Creek Battlefield and the development of trails and adventure tourism were a few main topics discussed during the meeting.
“The people of Prestonsburg have some great ideas for the area and they need to be heard,” said Prestonsburg Mayor Les Stapleton. “Everyone in the community working together and collaborating achieves greater results.”
Citizens discussed strengths and weaknesses of the city such as the lack of good paying jobs and concentrated development. Once everyone had an idea of the most important issues, the fun part began as citizens looked at detailed maps of the city to determine how ideas could fit with the city’s geographical landscape. Citizens asked each other if many of the ideas were feasible.
A representative from the Kentucky League of Cities was on hand to tell citizens how becoming a member city would benefit Prestonsburg. The Kentucky League of Cities promotes building and cultivating relationships with governments, and organizations by fostering teamwork that drives improvement and innovation. The citizens of Prestonsburg came out and actively participated in discussions.
The City of Prestonsburg plans to have another planning meeting in April. City officials encourage citizens to invite people to come with them to the next open discussion meeting.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for The Floyd County Times. She can be reached at (606) 886-8506.