WHITNEYVILLE - About 100 people turned out on a rainy night for a multi-municipal comprehensive plan meeting Thursday at the Tioga County Fairgrounds.
The EADS Group, of Altoona, is working with representatives from Wellsboro Borough, and Delmar, Charleston and Duncan townships to create a 10-year plan.
Tioga County Planner Jim Weaver, along with Richard Truscello, manager of planning services for EADS, and Mark Lazzari, community planner, conducted the meeting.
CHERYL R. CLARKE/Sun-Gazette
Rick Truscello, of the EADS Group, addresses the crowd at the Tioga County Fairgrounds.
"The EADS Group was hired to help with the process. I was asked ... about a year ago to help with the planning," Weaver said.
The funding is coming from a state Department of Community and Economic Development grant of $15,000, matched by the four municipalities in the effort.
Over the course of the evening, Truscello gave an overview of the four municipal region, including population changes, housing, income and demographics.
The community then was asked to comment on what they saw as the positives, negatives and future concerns of the region.
Some positives suggested by those in attendance included the development of the Marcellus Shale and the positive economic impact it has had in the area; the area's natural beauty and the abundance of outdoor recreational activities.
Marcellus Shale also showed up on the negative side in its impact on traffic and water supplies.
Truscello said the next steps will be to sign up volunteers to work in groups during three days of workshops to be held in June.
"Basically the new thinking is we start implementation of ideas that come out of the process while we finish the plan, so those hot button issues will start the process and move it forward as funding is available and support from the community arises," Weaver explained.
Weaver mentioned other regions of the county already in the planning stages, including the Mansfield valley, which includes the borough of Mansfield and Richmond, Putnam and Covington townships.
Blossburg Borough started its own multi-municipal plan last year and is now getting funding, and the Tioga and Lawrenceville area is starting the process.
"Input from the public is vital because we can't make decisions in a vacuum," he added.
Those who could not attend Thursday's meeting can go to www.wccdplan.org for a survey and an interactive mapping feature.