Trip 1 Recap

Trip #1 for the Gillette Comprehensive Plan took place October 2nd and 3rd, 2023. This trip was filled with different activities that laid the foundation for this ongoing community project. One of the first things to take place was the Verdunity team sitting down with staff members from various City departments. Interviewing the staff was imperative as it planted the seed for a relationship with staff members who will also be important sounding boards for the upcoming plan. During these interviews, the consultant team was able to obtain information on areas and processes within the City of Gillette that are operating smoothly, areas of improvement and feedback they receive from the community of Gillette.

The first day continued with Verdunity taking a self-guided tour of the City of Gillette based on staff’s recommendations that acquainted the team with some of the city’s most popular places. In the early evening, the consultants held the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) orientation meeting. The CPAC is an appointed committee that represents the community, encourages public participation at every available opportunity, and champions the planning project. The meeting consisted of introductions between the Verdunity team and the CPAC members, reviewing expectations of duties and conduct of the committee throughout this plan process, and answering any questions the committee had.

After this introduction meeting, the Verdunity team and Gillette planning staff made their way to the Campbell County Recreation Center, where the first Community Kick-Off event was hosted. The Community Kick-Off event was an informal, come-and-go, activity-focused engagement open house that allowed residents to provide a wide array of input. The event consisted of four activity stations. The first activity was an informational station that showcased the city limits of Gillette and the timeline for the planning process. It explained what a comprehensive plan is, and explained and promoted the Vibrant Community SurveyTr to gather community input through November 15th. The second activity station asked attendees to identify different assets – physical, economic, community and identity – that Gillette has today. The third activity station asked for input about local spending. Participants divided play money into six different categories based on how they felt it should be spent. The final and fourth activity station asked participants to select their top three priorities for principles to be used by officials in making decisions. On the back of each card, they were given opportunities to explain why those principles were most important and how they should be applied.

The morning of the second day began with part two of the staff interviews. It was followed by a second, midday second Community Kick-Off event. The event was hosted at the George Amos Memorial Building in downtown Gillette. The event consisted of the same four activity stations, but was held for people who were in a different geographic part of the city, and who had more midday availability than evenings. The day ended with a City Council meet and greet. This event took place at City Hall prior to the City Council meeting. During this meeting, introductions were made between the Verdunity team and City Council members and orientation and next steps of the project were provided.

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