• December 17, 2014

Texas A&M to help Nolanville grow smarter

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Posted: Friday, May 23, 2014 4:30 am

NOLANVILLE — The city entered into a $35,480 collaborative agreement with Texas A&M University to produce a comprehensive plan for the city’s development. Council members approved the final agreement at their May 15 meeting.

The city will receive assistance from Texas A&M’s 25-year-old Texas Target Cities program, which provides technical assistance on land use planning and design to small, low-resourced communities across the state.

The program will employe about 120 graduate students who will help create a comprehensive plan for Nolanville.

“This year, we’ve chosen two cities, we are working with Nolanville and Dickinson,” said Jaimie Materson, newly appointed program coordinator.

Typically, Materson said, the program works with a few cities each year that have about 1,500 residents. While faculty members ultimately decide which cities to work with, many towns approach the program initially, she said.

“We are developing a full application process. Nolanville technically didn’t apply, but we were in good contact with (City Manager Stephen Pearl) and felt like it was a really good fit,” she said.

Beginning in the fall and stretching into the spring semester, undergraduate students and graduate students who are receiving a master’s degree in landscape architecture and urban planning will take four courses centered around creating Nolanville’s comprehensive plan, Materson said.

Two summer interns will start collecting data June 1. Then, the data will be compiled into a report that includes the city’s infrastructure capacity, road conditions, housing conditions and environmental hazards as well as projections of future needs in the area, according to city documents.

The report also will include a strategy and implementation plan for the city addressing around 20 years of future growth, Materson said.

Pearl, in a previous interview, said he thought the agreement was a good deal.

Materson said she hopes to develop a good relationship with the city and possibly continue working with it on future projects.

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