SWEETWATER, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The City of Sweetwater is looking to modernize the city, developing their first-ever comprehensive development plan to grow the area for residents.
When you pass by the Sweetwater-labeled wind turbine wing, you arrive in a city filled with history. History surrounds every corner of the City of Sweetwater, an element city officials treasure.
“It’s the Sweetwater way,” Assistant City Manager of Operations Dana Schoening said. “I think we don’t want to disrupt that in any manner, but we do want to create some things in there with more modernization because that’s what people are looking for.”
But as the city wears down over time, Sweetwater residents are asking for a change, seeking new long term growth and amenities to keep the community vibrant.
“What we’re getting [from residents] is quality of life,” Schoening said. “We need to fix our streets, expand our parks and provide more opportunities for families.”
Using surveys sent out by community consultation company Verdunity, the City of Sweetwater was able to hone in on key issues residents have with the city, as well as specific wants they want to see over the next 20-30 years.
According to data collected in their surveys, residents are seeking more activities in the downtown area, more affordable housing, an updated aesthetic of the city and more quality parks and recreational activities.
Schoening said the city is already putting some of those plans into motion, such as adding the 94-home housing development on the North-Eastern corner of town. He said the ultimate goal for the city is to make Sweetwater a place for families to start work, start families and raise their families.
“We want people to see Sweetwater as an investment for them, their families, their business and so forth.” Schoening said. “Really creating an area for families to move to and to stay here and become part of this community.”
With the city’s new comprehensive plan, they will be chipping away at their major tasks over the next 5, 10 and 20 years, using their resources concisely, effectively and spreading it out over time.
Schoening said the city’s goal to modernize won’t overtake the city’s rural history, rather try to blend the two to create a new, unique vibrant community.
He said the city is still gathering responses from the community with the hope they can begin finalizing the plan and developing in November of this year.