Providence mayor discusses planning for the city’s future

PROVIDENCE – Despite the fact that Utahns are by and large trying to stay home and stay safe to slow the spread of COVID-19, business does continue and that includes important and critical services provided by both counties and cities.

On KVNU’s For the People program on Monday ,we talked to Providence Mayor John Drew. The city recently published a 2020 master plan that is a big expansion on what existed before. It’s very comprehensive, Drew claimed, covering a lot of ground from housing to walkability to the future of the business community in Providence City.

“The last general plan was from the year 2000, so we’re talking 20 years. A lot has happened to our city since then, but this has been a three year project. We started out by engaging an outside expert and we brought in members of the public to provide their input. Very interesting, one of the key issues that they brought out was we want to see a variety of housing,” the mayor explained.

Drew said, hopefully, the general plan doesn’t sit on the shelf and gather dust, but he hopes city officials continue to review it every year and see what has been accomplished and what still needs to be done. He said, in Providence, there are a multitude of different interests in the city.

“We have people that say there’s really three distinct cultures in neighborhoods in our city and I’m sure other cities are like that as well. Part of our city is on the valley floor, part of it is going up the side of the hill. And there’s different construction challenges, there’s different transportation planning challenges when it comes to public transportation, it’s got its challenges. We’ve got our physical limitations on growth.”

He said other less land-locked communities such as Millville, Nibley and Hyrum will grow faster than Providence.  But it is still a very desirable place to live, Drew said, that they have the highest median income in Cache Valley.

He said the commercial part of the city is growing rapidly, not just in Providence but in Logan to the north. He also said they are doing other exciting things not in the general plan that have been well received, such as bringing fiber to all of the city’s residential areas. He said they would be the first city to do that in Cache Valley. To view the master or general plan, visit Providencecity.com.

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