By Rebecca Louzan
Community Recovery Planning is an inclusive process that does three things. First, it helps disaster-impacted communities, such as Lyons, identify the issues they face and want to address. It then provides a framework for developing solutions to address those issues. Finally, it provides a vehicle for building consensus around the best-proposed solutions.
Outside agencies can help facilitate the planning process, but it is the community that must determine the issues, and agree on the solutions. Simply put, after the planning partners are gone, the town will be left with a document that it must feel comfortable in implementing.
In Lyons, the Town has partnered with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help facilitate the Lyons Recovery Planning Process, which will produce the Lyons Recovery Action Plan. The Planning Process kicked-off on December 18, 2013, when over five hundred Lyons residents met at LifeBridge Church in Longmont to begin charting the Town’s road to recovery. Eight Recovery Working Groups were formed including: Housing, Business Recovery, Parks and Recreation, Stream Recovery, Public Facilities, Infrastructure, Health and Human Services, and Arts, Culture, and Historic Preservation.
It’s not too late to get involved! In fact, there’s plenty of planning still to do and every Lyons resident and business owner is encouraged to become involved. A list of the meeting dates and locations can be found on www.lyonsrecovery.com, or by calling Town Hall at (303) 823-6622. So far, the Recovery Working Groups have met four times.
To date, they have worked on confirming the issues that were developed at the kick-off meeting, determining goals and objectives that address those issues, and discussing solutions that achieve those goals and objectives. In the coming weeks, each Recovery Working Group will research and refine their proposed solutions. The goals that are deemed the strongest will be presented in the Draft Recovery Action Plan.
If you can’t make Recovery Working Group meetings, but still want to make your views known before the Recovery Action Plan is voted on by the Town Board of Trustees, there will be a public meeting where you can do so. During the week of March 17, the Draft Recovery Action Plan will be published and made available for final review. Soon after, the Lyons Planning and Community Development Commission (PCDC) and the Lyons Sustainable Futures Commission (SFC) will hold public hearings. Residents are encouraged to voice their opinions about the Draft Recovery Action Plan before both Commissions make their recommendations to the Lyons Board of Trustees. Finally, on March 31, the Board will vote on the Plan and begin implementation of the recovery strategies!