Plan to address Lancaster County’s economic needs

Special to the Fort Mill TimesJuly 2, 2014 

— Lancaster County is looking to the future as the economic development corporation re-evaluates the needs and desires of residents.

The corporation will develop the 2020 Economic Development Strategic Plan to outline the county’s needs and how to meet them.

Joshua Langen, project manager for the corporation, said a new strategic plan is necessary since most of the goals laid out in the 2009 plan have been met. He addressed a crowd of 25 residents at an Indian Land Action Council meeting in June.

Economic Development will identify the county’s needs, examine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for the project and set goals and strategies.

The strategic plan will address areas such as workforce development, transportation, infrastructure, land use and zoning and potential locations for retail and commercial property, Langen said.

The economic development strategic plan will need to be compatible with the county’s land use plan, which is in development and is updated every five years, said Keith Tunnell, Economic Development director.

The strategic plan “has been a very helpful tool for the entire economic development team,” Tunnell said.

Economic Development held kick-off presentations for the plan in Kershaw and Heath Springs in May and at the Indian Land Action Council meeting in June, Langen said.

“All presentations were received positively with only a few comments and eagerness to see more as we roll out the plan,” he said.

Langen said they hope to complete the needs assessment in the next couple of weeks.

Economic development will hold public presentations on the inventory and strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats portions of the strategic plan later this month, but have not yet set specific dates, Langen said. The aim is to have a final plan this November.

Tunnell said the county wants to hear from residents and county officials on what they should work toward.

“We’ve had a lot of success in the last five years,” he said. “We look forward to getting input on this new plan.”

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