BY CALEB ALEXANDER
What will Trenton be like in 2040 and what do the people who live there now want it to be like? That is the focus of a comprehensive plan that was released in March. It was based on a survey of people taken last November and December.
There are “9 Big Moves” listed in the plan. It was put together with the help of HeartLands Conservancy which is based in Belleville. It is a not profit organization which advocates conserving land and resources.
There were 142 people answering the surveys which had questions about things like business, recreation and safety in Trenton. HeartLands Conservancy estimates the number of people in Trenton to be as much as 4000 by 2040. There are 2614 now living there.
The big move first presented in the plan is for a ribbon greenway to go around and through the city. This includes using the nature preserve, tree canopy, creek and creek floodway to create a natural loop around town. Then to expand the park system, trails, and tree lined streets.
Next of the big moves is extending this natural green ribbon through neighborhoods, business areas and by schools. Reinvesting in the downtown is also part of this plan. This calls for encouraging unique businesses that give it a unique identity. Part of this consists of adding pocket gardens, street trees and outdoor dining downtown.
Big Move 4 is to keep the neighborhoods thriving by encouraging pride of ownership and property upkeep plus encouraging property beautification is part of this aspect of the plan.
For the fifth big move, the plan suggests creating new neighborhoods, for all ages and incomes, with different sizes and prices of homes, designs and connections to the ribbon greenway.
Another part of the plan involves attracting new businesses by promoting the workforce, quality of life and variety of housing options. It also mentions in the number 6 of the big moves to provide options for development on the Old Route 50, new US 50 and rail line corridors.
Enhancing intersections and entry points to let people know they are in Trenton is mentioned in big move 7. Along with that, make the downtown into something attractive with unique branding and showcase artwork and artists in the city.
For big move 8, the plan recommends communicating Trenton’s values and what it has to offer with a marketing plan, new logo, online presence, keeping well loved traditions alive and calling attention to community events. Another part of this would be attracting visitors to heritage farms and other things of interest.
The final one of the nine big moves is about upgrading the city infrastructure with fiber optics, broadband, electrification embracing new technology, alternative energy and future forms of transportation. Also included is encouraging new small businesses, startups and artists.
Residents of Trenton are encouraged to review the plan and offer their comments. It can be accessed from the home page of the city’s web site at www.trentonil.org.