Inclusive recreation strategies, connected walking trails part of Kickstart Kemmerer

FILE PHOTO

Editor’s Note: This is the last of four articles in a series about Kickstart Kemmerer, the City of Kemmerer’s new comprehensive plan.

The new 20-year comprehensive plan “Kickstart Kemmerer,” which was created by an advisory council and approved by the zoning board and the Kemmerer city council, features a section dedicated to maintaining and improving the city’s recreation and open spaces.

The vision statement of the plan predicts that the implementation strategies created by the advisory council will create an attractive community “where people take pride in their homes, businesses and environment.”

When the council adopted the plan on Nov. 13, former city administrator Andrew Nelson informed council members that one of Kickstart Kemmerer’s guiding principles is that the city’s population (and revenue) will likely remain low for the next 20 years.

With this in mind, the plan suggests creating a recreation maintenance program to extend the life of the city’s current recreation facilities before building new ones.

The city is not obligated to pursue or complete any of the strategies and projects listed in the master plan, but it is intended to serve as a guiding document for future council decisions.

Another strategy to improve Kemmerer’s recreation is a connected trail system. Kemmerer and Diamondville are already working with Lincoln County on this project to connect the community’s trails.

Kickstart Kemmerer suggests the city complete a recreation master plan that looks at opportunities for future recreation amenities like a splash pad, ice rink or pickleball courts. 

An inclusive recreation strategy to “provide recreational opportunities for people of all ages and abilities” is also part of the comprehensive plan. The plan suggests developing non-athletic recreation programs for youth, adults and seniors that will attract families to Kemmerer.

What next?

The Kickstart Kemmerer comprehensive plan is the result of nearly two years of work with the city, advisory board, zoning board and the people of Kemmerer.

Nelson told the council that the project was time-intensive because a comprehensive plan had not been completed in several years.

This plan should be updated after five years, and Nelson said it shouldn’t take as long to update because the basic goals and strategies have already been researched and outlined.

City Planning staff and the Zoning Board are responsible for reviewing development proposals to ensure they align with the city’s goals, presenting projects to be considered in the city’s yearly budgets, presenting annual reports and updating development and zoning regulations to be more consistent with the plan.

The city’s elected officials are responsible for making decisions that work toward the goals outlined in Kickstart Kemmerer and allocating funding for projects.

Members of the community will also play a role in the implementation of Kickstart Kemmerer. The 20-year plan acknowledges that in order to maintain residents’ quality of life and improve the city, locals will need to be involved by paying attention to how the city council chooses to implement the plan’s strategies.

Click here to read the previous three articles about the Kickstart Kemmerer plan, which focus on the plan’s vision, community appearance, land use, housing, economic development and infrastructure.

What do you think of the city’s new 20-year plan to improve Kemmerer? Let us know by emailing [email protected] or mailing your comments to Kemmerer Gazette, 708 J.C. Penney Drive, PO Box 30, Kemmerer, WY, 83101.