Bourbon-downtownOver the past nine months, the Town of Bourbon has worked to develop their Comprehensive Plan known as the “Envision Bourbon 2030 Comprehensive Plan.” Working in conjunction with the Michiana Area Council of Governments (MACOG) and Marshall County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC), Bourbon has created this Plan on the foundation of community engagement by conducting stakeholder interviews, input surveys, public open houses, and workshops. One of the final steps before approval is a public comment period, and anyone who lives, works, or has a vested interest in Bourbon is invited to participate.

The Bourbon Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee will be hosting an open house on Thursday, September 14, 2017, at the Matchett Square Bourbon Senior Center, located at 805 North Harris Street. The open house will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the Steering Committee giving a presentation of the draft Plan, followed by an opportunity for the public to review and comment on the proposed action strategies.

In addition to the open house, the Envision Bourbon 2030 Comprehensive Plan is available on the Town’s website, for public review and comments. For those who do not have internet access, copies of the Plan will be available in the Clerk’s Office at Town Hall located at 104 East Park Avenue or the Bourbon Public Library, 307 North Main Street.

A comprehensive plan is a guiding policy document that empowers communities to create a long-term vision, address community challenges, and create solutions that offer better choices for where and how people live, work, and play. A comprehensive plan is also recommended or required for certain community development grants, as it demonstrates commitment to improving community vitality indicators such as population growth, educational attainment, school enrollment, assessed value, and per capita income. Bourbon is the latest Marshall County community to participate in this process, including Argos, Bremen, Culver, and Plymouth, all of which have updated their Plans in the last few years.

The Bourbon Steering Committee, a group of dedicated community leaders and residents, began forming the Plan in December 2016, and have since met nine times. They held their first open house in May 2017 and asked the community to identify Bourbon’s strengths, opportunities, and challenges. The Steering Committee also reached out to residents and Triton students through online surveys, with 139 resident and over 290 student respondents. Through the engagement process and analyzing Bourbon’s existing conditions, the Steering Committee was able to identify priority action strategies to guide improvements for the next five to ten years.