UNION COUNTY — The future of a region that encompasses 14 counties in North Carolina and South Carolina will be the subject of an open house at the City of Union Municipal Building on Friday, February 8.
In a statement released Friday, Wendy Bell, senior planner for the Catawba Regional Council of Government, announced that the open house will be an opportunity for Union County residents to be briefed on and provide input for the “CONNECT Our Future” initiative. The initiative deals with the future growth of a 14-county region that includes the North Carolina counties of Anson, Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly, and Union, and the South Carolina counties of Chester, Lancaster, Union, and York. The region is described as “diverse and rapidly growing … with a population that is expected to grow by 50 percent in 20 years and double within 40 years.”
Given the region’s projected growth, residents “must have a say in how development and economic growth occurs” and Bell said CONNECT Our Future “gives our citizens and community stakeholders a place directly at the table where decisions are being made for this and future generations.” She also describes CONNECT Our Future as “a process in which communities, counties, businesses, educators, non-profits and other organizations work together to grow jobs and the economy, improve quality of life, and control the cost of government.”
The CONNECT Our Future process will be guided by the following “core values:”
• A strong and diverse economy
• Sustainable, well-managed growth
• A safe and healthy environment
• Increased collaboration among jurisdictions
• Enhanced social equity
• High quality educational opportunities
The open house, which will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., will involve representatives of the Catawba Regional Council of Governments and the Lee Institute providing a brief overview on the initiative and then facilitating small group discussions to gather information from Union County residents and detail additional opportunities for public input.
In addition to the February 8 open house at the City of Union Municipal Building, there will be also be a CONNECT Our Future open house at the Union County Advanced Technology Center, 1401 Furman L. Fendley Highway, Union, on Thursday, February 28, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The public is also urged to attend that open house to speak with CONNECT Our Future staff and give them their input.
For more information about the CONNECT Our Future initiative, visit the website at www.ConnectOurFuture.org or contact Wendy Bell at 803-327-9041 or email@example.com.