Dothan Strategic Plan

The city of Dothan is investing hundreds of thousands of dollars into different development plans and millions into community projects. City officials say the end result of all this planning will be well worth the cost.

Officials with the city of Dothan say they are following up on promises to renovate different areas of the city.

They're bringing in experts and writing up plans to kick start their redevelopment efforts, at a price tag of more than $600,000.

Planning Consultant Lyle Sumek said, "I am trying to work with the city council to establish a strategic plan which involves vision for the future, which is a destination, and putting together different actions to getting there.”

Sumeck is meeting with every city commissioner to help them figure out the best way to develop different areas of Dothan, using the existing assets.

Already in the works are a number of different community investment projects to help improve city parks, roads and services.

However, the city is also forking out hundreds of thousands of dollars not only for a citywide strategic plan, but also for a downtown redevelopment plan and the majority of that money is coming from taxpayers.

"It's an investment in the future of Dothan. Dothan has a lot of assets, and we need to make sure that they're used properly," said Mike West, City Manager.

$4.3 million from the city's general fund will be used for community projects. This is done every year. $25,000 will be set aside to create a citywide strategic plan and more than $600,000 will also be set aside to kick start a decades old plan to redevelop downtown Dothan. That includes setting up a single place where people can go to get all the city permits they need.

"The Assets of this city have been placed in my hand, and in the hands of these six commissioners... and so what better way to take care of those assets than an orderly planning process. It's something that when I ran for office, I said we would have more of, and this is the delivery of that promise," said Mayor Pat Thomas

Taxpayer money put to good use, and city officials say that in the end this big investment will yield an even bigger return.

Friday, the last two city commissioners will meet with. Sumeck, who says he hopes to have a rough draft for a strategic plan, by the end of this weekend.