Community Engagement Summaries

Imagine One 85’s  community and stakeholder engagement phases are designed to generate open comments on paths to improving the county’s qualities of place, life, and opportunities. The principle focus of the Imagine One 85 planning effort is addressing the county’s decreasing population.

Round Two Engagement Summary: Growth Summit

The Imagine One 85 Steering Committee hosted a single, in-person event called the Imagine One 85 Growth Summit in July 2021. More than 200 people gathered at the Honeywell Center Plaza to celebrate the communities’ strengths and progress, and to provide feedback on the development of the comprehensive plan. The Summit was intended to:

  • Convene – Gather community members from across the county to safely participate in a large-scale community event;
  • Celebrate – Provide an “exhale” opportunity and showcase all the great things about the communities of Wabash County;
  • Share – Present key takeaways from the Focus on the Future and the technical research and analysis; and
  • Build – Collect ideas from community members about the actions we can take to ensure strong and regular growth in the county.

The second round of community and stakeholder engagement sought to encourage residents about the strengths and values of the county through group discussions and activities. Major themes from the public input include green energy, infrastructure (cell phone and internet), housing / retail / mixed-use development, and outdoor recreation. These themes have informed the development of the action agenda within the draft comprehensive plan.

Round One Engagement Summary: Focus on the Future

The Imagine One 85 Steering Committee hosted in-person and virtual workshops between November 2020 and March 2021. More than 250 people participated in a Focus on the Future discussion and, together, generated thousands of comments and ideas.

The input shared through round one served as a foundation for major elements of the plan including the community’s vision, goals, and general direction. The themes presented below represent particularly resonant responses from the first round of engagement.

Major Themes:

To address population decline, we will…

  • Enrich our education system
  • Create more and higher paying jobs
  • Increase housing options and affordability
  • Expand and improve high-speed internet access
  • Create great places
  • Embrace diversity
  • Strengthen our health and social support services
  • Broadcast our image
  • Improve coordination and collaboration across our organizations and institutions
  • Protect our natural features and develop outstanding new amenities
  • Attract and retain young, talented individuals
  • Continue to grow a skilled workforce