The Conway City Council heard a presentation from the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday afternoon outlining the public sector portion of Conway2025: A Plan for the Future of Conway.

Jamie Gates, a vice president of the Chamber, told of the process that involved 1,400 responses to a survey and 300 people who volunteered to continue the work in more than 50 meetings. The result is a booklet available at the Chamber of Commerce and online at

The work is continuing, Gates said, as "the report is being processed into any digestible form."

He presented a breakout of public policy goals — 56 actionable items — aimed at the City Council.

"We would like the City Council to adopt the plan as a guiding document," Gates said. "No one assumed the City Council would mandate every point of the plan, but it provides a philosophy to help make decisions.

"It’s time for this council to take this plan and put it to work," Gates said. "Portions of the plan are pointed in your direction. It asks for excellence. Excellence is an option for’s not for every city."

Several groups already have been embracing their ownership in the plan, Gates said.

At that point, Brad Lacy, CEO of the Chamber, asked those members of the audience to stand who support the 2025 plan for the future.

About fifty people — most of the audience, representing various agencies and groups — stood.

Mayor Tab Townsell said he was not on the steering committee or even part of the 1,400 who answered the survey.

"But I appreciate the people of Conway who did participate," Townsell said.

He suggested that the council consider the items related to the city.

"We’ll take it to the department heads...pick the brains of the planning staff. It would behoove us to come back and talk about these things before we sign on the dotted line," Townsell said.

"Not every city has the opportunity we have. We can grow into what we choose, and this gives us a plan to choose how we will grow," Townsell said.

(Becky Harris can be reached at 505-1234 or