A community betterment group approached the city for committee members on Monday evening in the council chambers.

The Columbus Community Crusaders, who have been fixing up and repairing various project areas in the city, asked the council to form a committee with them to investigate a long range community plan.

Crusader executive committee members Trish Carroll and David Schoech spoke to the council, asking the city to form an ad-hoc committee of combined council and Crusader members.

“This will start the process to make a grant application,” Schoech said. “The next step will be the comprehensive planning study.”

The combined committee would apply for up to $25,000 to cover the cost of the community plan. The matching funds requirement for Columbus would be 20 percent, or $5,000, if the total $25,000 was awarded.

“If Columbus was awarded the grant for the plan, community projects would be documented and once identified, our community would be in a position to apply for state and federal funding in the future,” said Carroll. “Communities with a comprehensive plan in place increase their opportunities for receiving funding dollars.”

Mayor Marie Nepple suggested they assign the city council economic development committee to be members of the ad-hoc committee. The suggestion was put into a motion that was seconded and approved.

The members from the council economic development committee will be Grant Spieth, Gary Smith, David Morrison and Doug Hosier. From the Crusaders will be their executive committee members, Trish Carroll, David Schoech, David Carriger and Cindy Neely.

Carriger is the school superintendent and Neely is the hospital administrator.

“This will really put Columbus in position to receive long-range funding,” Carroll said.

The crusaders will have a work day on Nov. 20. They will repair downtown trash cans, paint light poles, remove an awning and decorate downtown windows for the holidays.

“We will use art students from the school,” Schoech said. “They will be able to really decorate up the storefront windows.”