County commits to comprehensive plan

Chad Frey
The Kansan

It has been about two decades since Harvey County created and passed a comprehensive plan. 

Harvey County

Harvey County's last Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 2001.

"While the structure of what we have remains a good foundation for future land use, the remainder of the plan is coming to the end of its useful life," wrote Gina Bell, director of planning and zoning for the county in a memo to county commissioners. "Overall growth since the last comprehensive plan was slower that expected. The growth on South Kansas has been significantly less than projected in the comprehensive plan. Additionally the statistics used were from prior to the 2000 census, so they are very outdated."

This week the county commission approved a request by Bell for the hiring of a to-be-chosen firm to create a new comprehensive plan. Her department had budgeted $50,000 for the project. 

According to the county, Since 2001  the County has grown by only 1,500 people — which  Bell called "nominal." 

City and county data of the most recent census have not yet been released by the U.S. Census Bureau — though state level dat has. Kansas grew by about 3 percent during that time frame. 

According to the the U.S. Census Bureau, during the last decade, three of the four Kansas neighbor states grew faster.  With three percent growth, Kansas now has an official population of 2,937,800 people. The state ranks 34 in the country in terms of population.   The Kansas population growth outpaced Missouri, which grew by 2.8 percent. Oklahoma grew by 5.5 percent,  Nebraska 7.4 percent, and Colorado 14.8 percent over the past 10 years.

The county commission not only approved the expenditure for the creation of a comprehensive plan, but a timeline for that work as well. 

Proposals will be due by June 7, with firm interviews scheduled to take place June 23 and contract negotiations to follow on June 29. The commission is expected to vote on firm selection June 29, with the project to start July 6. The project is tenatively scheduled for completion on Dec. 31.