City of Amarillo launches program to engage community input in future projects

Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 10:18 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Amarillo Community members will be able to voice their opinions on a series of city related topics starting Tuesday.

This is part of Amarillo’s new outreach program called “Community Solutions”.

The first discussion will be held at the Civic Center Grand Plaza from 6:00 in the evening to 8:00 in the evening. It will focus on housing needs from home affordability to the housing market situation in the area, as the nation faces a housing shortage.

“People go ‘Well maybe we won’t build, we’ll buy’. Well, we only have a 30 day supply of houses here in our market.” said City of Amarillo Mayor, Ginger Nelson.

She adds the housing issue affects residents from all socio-economic backgrounds, and is why she hopes to hear different perspectives from builders and bankers to those who cannot afford a home or do not have many living options.

“Are we doing what we need to do here in the city to help and facilitate meeting those housing demands? But, it also affects where we have done neighborhood plans, in San Jacinto, in North Heights, East Ridge, the Barrio? How are we meeting housing needs there, is it affordable housing, is it housing people want to live in?” said Nelson.

On top of the current housing needs, the city is looking for feedback for long term housing issues such as the cost of expanding.

“As we do development inside the city? Can we pay to sustain it? How are we paying to sustain drainage and water?” said Nelson.

This is not the first outreach program the city has launched, but it is the first one where all City Council members will be present and topics will be chosen ahead of time.

Next week’s meeting will be on Tuesday and involve the american rescue plan funds the city is set to receive.

“The city is going to be getting over $40 million. Really we can use these dollars to shape a generation, it is that big of an impact. So, we want to hear from citizens about what kinds of things should we be prioritizing.” said Nelson.

The schedule for future meetings will be on their website, but residents who would like to suggest a topic can do so by calling the mayor’s office at (806) 378-6445.

Tomorrow’s event also comes as in-person gatherings resume. This will be the first in-person event where all council members will be present since last year.

The Mayor says now that vaccines are widely available, she expects city events to move forward in person adding people can make their own decisions on what they feel they can attend.

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