Our town has "beautiful bones" and is laid out in a sensible way to allow for growth, according to the draft Cootamundra 2050 Strategy which has just been put on public exhibition by Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council.
The 84-page draft can be viewed at the council offices in Wallendoon Street or by googling the council and going to the website's "connect with us" drop-down menu.
The council will receive public comments on the draft's proposals and ideas until Friday November 1.
Around 10 per cent of the town's population had an input into the strategy during a public consultation period around June this year.
Major recommendations include: taking advantage of our unique road and rail connections to develop Cootamundra as an inland port; using our high percentage of over 65-year-olds as an opportunity to develop a medical industry focused on training front-line staff; and developing Cootamundra as a "must-visit" artistic and cultural centre.
The inland port idea would be for imported containers to be loaded directly from ships and be brought here by train for sorting and redirecting, taking advantage of our low land costs. Containers could then go out on the Sydney-Melbourne rail line, the Inland Rail or via the Olympic Highway to the Hume, Sturt and Newell Highways.
Cootamundra's population is currently around 6,000, with only slow growth since the 2011 census when the population was 5,600.
The Strategy suggests Cootamundra could support a population of 10,000 by 2050 with a growth rate of 1.5 per cent while achieving 15,000 would be difficult with yearly growth required to be around 3 per cent, "particularly when considering the challenge to overcome the structural ageing withing the population".
"Cootamundra has almost doubled the percentage of the population aged 65 and over since 2001," it said.
"In 2001 15.8 per cent of the population was 65 and over, but by 2016 this had increased to 30.5 per cent.
"Should nothing be done to retain younger people and attract more families to Cootamundra the town faces the reality of a sharp population decline as forecasted (sic) by modelling by the Department of Planning."
However when asked what population they would like to see in 2050 nearly one in five Cootamundrians (18.5%) said they would like to see it remain at the current size.
Surveys showed 41% of respondents wanted a population of 10,000, 24.4% wanted 15,000 and 15.5% wanted more than 15,000.
The draft strategy contains a host of other ideas big and small, such as encouraging Friday night shopping once a month, redesigning parking in the main street to allow more businesses to use footpath space, getting State heritage listing for the old District Hospital and restoring its original garden, developing the Cootamundra West railway station, and making the airport precinct into a "wheels" vicinity with drag racing, motorbikes and trains.
Other possible projects include creating a bike path between town and Pioneer Park, introducing the WaterFix program for households to fix leaks and reduce water use, developing an urban tree canopy with more tree-lined streets, reducing the front yard setback to 2.5 metres to give more space for backyard trees, and promoting Cootamundra to technology workers who can work remotely and are looking for low property prices.