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Local residents asked to help plan regional growth

Rowan County residents have the opportunity to help plan for future growth in the area at three interactive sessions in Salisbury next month.
The two-hour community growth workshops Oct. 15 are part of the 14-county, two-state CONNECT Our Future initiative.
“Our region is expected to grow by another 1.8 million people and 860,000 jobs by 2050. The goal of the CONNECT effort is to plan for growth by local choice — not chance,” Granite Quarry Mayor Mary Ponds said in a news release. “We’re encouraging Rowan residents to invest two hours at a workshop and make a difference in the county for the next 40 years.”
The CONNECT Our Future effort is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the Centralina Council of Governments, based in Charlotte, and the Catawba Regional Council of Governments, based in Rock Hill, S.C. Cabarrus residents have already participated in other CONNECT Our Future events to date, including open houses, small groups and RealityCheck2050, a day-long visioning session.
The Oct. 15 workshops will be held at the Salisbury Civic Center, 315 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. They will be 9 a.m.-11 a.m., 1 p.m.-3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Each workshop will have the same agenda.
At the workshop, participants working at tables of 10 people will map out the growth of Rowan County. People will need to consider where residents will need to work, live and play and how to enhance and protect quality of life as the county and region grow.
The ideas discussed and map developed at the Rowan community growth workshops — along with results from the other 13 counties in the region — will be combined with the input already gathered across the region. From these shared ideas, four or five possible scenarios for the growth of the region will be created. These scenarios will reflect the different perspectives and desired outcomes that people have shared across the region.
In the spring and summer of 2014, residents from the region will again be asked for input — this time about which of the alternative growth scenarios they prefer.
To register to participate in an Oct. 15 community growth workshop in Salisbury, visit http://bit.ly/RowanCounty . For more information on CONNECT Our Future, visit http://www.connectourfuture.org .

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