Downtown Odessa wants the area to be the focal point of activity in Odessa, and they have already taken a valuable step in that direction with the Marriott Hotel and Convention Center. But more plans need to be made.

According to NewsWest 9, so the city wants to hear from you, the citizens of Odessa.

The meetings began yesterday and that begins a series of townhall meetings regarding future plans for Downtown Odessa.

If you can't attend any of the townhall meetings, you can participate through an online survey.

The purpose is to help the city update their masterplan and Craig Stoker, Chairman for the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone, says the opinions of the community is important.

"The more people who have an opinion and who get involved with this survey and study and update, the better it's gonna be, the better it's gonna represent all of us in Odessa," said Stoker.

Stoker also said that the public's input is a very important part of the downtown plan.

"Things to do in the downtown footprint are coming out as priorities," said Stoker. "Another one is going to be residential. How do we get people living in downtown to take advantage of the opportunities? Its all about figuring out which of these projects needs to come first, what is going to bring the most people to the downtown footprint."

Jeff Whitacre is the Vice President for Kimley-Horn and Associates which is the consulting and planning firm that is helping update the plan, and he said the community input has given them a different view.

"I saw a little bit of a passion that wasn't given in the survey, about when you look outside the core of Downtown Odessa," said Whitacre. "How do we make the larger footprint of Downtown Odessa from hospital to hospital. We can consider to have some residential options as well."

The townhall meetings schedule is posted on the Downtown Odessa Facebook page so you can plan your schedule accordingly to attend.

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