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TOJ’s Comprehensive Plan aims to reflect community values and priorities

JACKSON, Wyo. — Originally adopted in 2012, the Town of Jackson recently took a fresh look at its Comprehensive (Comp) Plan and approved updates that ensure it remains consistent with our community values and a shared vision for the future.

Also accomplished this year was a comprehensive study of rates and fees associated with water service, wastewater service, and fees charged to developers for new connections to the Town’s utility infrastructure. Like the Comprehensive Plan Update, the utility study was aided significantly by input and feedback from Jackson residents.

In the case of the utility study, the Town benefitted greatly from contributions made by stakeholders who joined virtual workshops and participated in online surveys. Also critical to the study was the formation of a 10-member Citizen Review Committee (CRC), comprised of individuals representing residential and business customers, utility districts, environmental groups, and affordability advocates. The CRC met regularly to examine rate issues in-depth and made recommendations that were recently adopted by Town Council. The new rates will go into effect on July 1, 2021.

“My favorite part of these studies is working with citizens to identify and reach consensus on shared community objectives that updated rates and fees can help accomplish,” said Matt Wittern of Raftelis, the independent consultant the Town hired to lead the study of the rates and facilitate the CRC. “The process in Jackson was no exception, and it was interesting to see how well the priorities of residents and the CRC aligned with the updated Comprehensive Plan.”

The CRC’s recommendation to Council included elements designed to make progress with respect to:

  • Conservation and water efficiency, to respect our place in the ecosystem and align with the Town’s Comprehensive Plan
  • Affordability, to ensure even our most economically vulnerable neighbors can afford basic water and wastewater services
  • Predictability, so families, businesses, and Town planners can effectively plan budgets for the future
  • Fairness, so everyone pays their fair share based on the cost of serving them

The Comp Plan’s Vision is to “Preserve and protect the area’s ecosystem in order to ensure a healthy environment, community and economy for current and future generations.” Below is an overview of how the new rates and fees are responsive to the three Community Values in the Comp Plan.

“We’re lucky to live in Jackson, where we have citizens who are willing to give up time with friends and families on nights and weekends to provide guidance and direction on complicated subjects like water rate structures,” said Johnny Ziem, Assistant Public Works Director at the Town of Jackson. “They help make living in such an incredible place that much better.”

For more information, visit jacksonwy.gov to view a set of Frequently Asked Questions and download a Fact Sheet, or call Public Works at 307-733-3079

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