Nearly 40 people attended a public meeting on Sept. 26 regarding updating the City of New Melle’s Comprehensive Plan. After a brief overview from Todd Streiler, Streiler Engineering, who is preparing the plan for the city, those in attendance broke up into five groups/teams.
Each team had a map of the city and a list of questions that asked about how New Melle should grow. What kinds of commercial businesses would citizens want? Are there housing needs that are not being met? What additional services or amenities are desired? The small group discussions lasted about an hour, then each team gave an overview of ideas discussed.
There were several recurring themes as the results were presented, including maintaining the quaint, rural atmosphere, improving the intersections at Hwys D, Z and F, maintaining locally owned, non-franchised businesses, adding new sidewalks and improving the safety of existing sidewalks. Several teams suggested a multi use trail linking New Melle to the new Park at New Melle Lakes on Foristell Road.
One team emphasized that New Melle needed to decide if it wanted to continue to be a “bedroom community” or become more commercialized.
Suggestions for specific business included a small grocery store (yet other people did see a need for that), a fitness/workout center, more professional office space, 1-2 more restaurants/cafes – with a “sit down” breakfast area. A coffee shop and ice cream parlor were also mentioned, and more boutique businesses, especially in the old town area such as along Mill Street.
Housing for young families is needed, and more high-end condos were mentioned, along with a need for better Internet service, a teen/senior recreation center, larger sports complex, and more frequent OATS transportation. Encouraging a German-style architecture for new buildings was also brought up.
Maintaining the “New Melle” identity was important - and avoiding annexation by other municipalities - which are creeping in this direction.
Streiler said he would take all the input from the meeting and compile it, and that he would be publishing information on the City’s website in the future as the process moves along (www.cityofnewmelle.org.)
Members from each discussion group/team gave an overview of ideas their group discussed.