Comprehensive plan

Cape Girardeau's new draft comprehensive plan is big.

Thick with maps, history, case studies, data and recommendations, the draft is the city's latest tool for determining the town's long-term future.

The city paid the consulting firm, Arcturis, nearly $86,000 to come up with the plan. The city council received it Aug. 16 without much opportunity to look at it before a 30-minute summary by representatives of the firm.

Now the city and its interested residents are sifting through the document.

On the last page of the document, the consultants have listed their top nine project priorities list. The top two items on the list are related to improvements on William Street from Interstate 55 to downtown. The list also includes riverfront development, southern community redevelopment, two Kingshighway enhancement projects, trails and greenway development, Cape Rock Redevelopment and university expansion.

Noticeably absent from the priority list are plans and projects for the new interchange being built on the Northwest end of town where the new LaSalle Avenue will meet up with Jackson's East Main Street.

The document is only a draft. It's informative and is stocked with big ideas. But is it truly comprehensive? The public has more than a month to have its say about the document. A hearing has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 10.

Only time, and careful study, will determine if this is a viable blueprint for the city and a good use of taxpayer dollars. Ultimately, it will be the execution of the plan that will matter.