The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) is asking more Licking County residents to participate in its survey for its 12-county plan.

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) is asking more Licking County residents to participate in its survey for its 12-county plan.

Called "Shaping our Future," MORPC intends to use the plan to steer programs related to maintaining and enhancing the resources of central Ohio.

MORPC intends to finish the plan by 2012.

Representatives from MORPC attended the Licking County Chamber of Commerce meeting Jan. 20 to ask for more residents' participation.

According to MORPC spokesperson Bernice Cage, the organization currently is collecting input to clarify plan goals and expected outcomes and is traveling the region to ask community leaders and the public what would make them proud to call central Ohio home.

MORPC has collected about 5,000 thus far, and officials would like to collect 10,000.

As of last week, 268 Licking County residents have responded; the commission's target goal is 788 responses by the end of the month.

MORPC plans to use the information gathered from its online survey to steer programs related to reducing harmful emissions, attracting and retaining business, promoting energy efficiency, supporting local food sources, encouraging sustainable development, promoting and supporting stable, livable neighborhoods, advancing a multi-modal transportation system and maintaining and enhancing the surface- and ground-water resources of central Ohio.

"Central Ohio is connected by economics, transportation, natural resources and industry," said Nancy Reger, MORPC's deputy director of transportation. "How many people do you know that live in one county and work in another? However, each county has different issues they are dealing with or they may have varied priorities. We want to make sure that the outcomes from this planning effort are comprehensive and relevant to people and decision makers throughout the central Ohio region."

Areas included in the regional plan are Franklin, Delaware, Licking, Fairfield, Pickaway, Madison, Union, Morrow, Marion, Knox, Ross and Fayette counties.

"Every county has its own priorities, so we want to make sure we know what they are," Reger said. "The overall goal of this plan is to bring the counties together and the communities together, especially when it comes time (to) approach our Congress people, so we are speaking with one voice."

She said MORPC is working with different local bodies to get the word out about the survey.

"We have e-mailed a ton of people, and we are working through the Licking County Planning Commission," Reger said. "We are trying to work through people that are trusted in the community, so it's not a MORPC voice coming in from afar."

Reger said MORPC's online survey takes about 10 minutes to complete and can be accessed at http://regionalplan.questionpro.com until the end of January.

MORPC plans to present the goals derived from its study in mid-2010.