Comprehensive Plan Update Committee continues draft review

|Anne Maurice|
On October 24, Town Planner Scott Hastings began the CPUC monthly meeting welcoming Town Manager Carrie Castonguay, who was in attendance.  The committee continues to diligently review draft chapters written by Scott based on the discussions and research completed during the many meetings over the last year and a half.  The agenda included the chapters for Public Facilities and Fiscal Capacity Inventory, and the goals and strategies for both topics. 

The Public Facilities and Services overview was thoroughly reviewed and several committee members made suggestions for clarity and readability.  The committee agreed to expand the section on the School District.  There is a lot of interest in adding data on students who do not attend the local public school.  It is believed that there are many NG students who are home schooled, or attend a charter or private school.  Information on students by grade level was also requested.  Scott will work on gathering the expanded data.

Next, the discussion pivoted to the chapter on Water and Wastewater.  A couple of members wanted the Plan to highlight the water capacity in the Upper Village and the opportunity that afforded for expansion in that area of Town. 

The Committee moved on to Fiscal Capacity.  Carrie was asked about the revaluation for the Town.  She advised that the new valuation will be used to establish the 2020-21 budget and tax rate.  

The meeting shifted to the goals and strategies for the Public Facilities and Services section.  Two areas generated significant comment.  The draft goal regarding additional staff hiring will be broadened to allow for the proper assessment of skills and needs in the future.  The goal for recycling will be expanded to include to a comprehensive review of the solid waste process and the possible inclusion of an informal process for re-usable items left at the Transfer Station. 

The Capital Improvement Process generated the most comment during the review of the Fiscal Capacity goals and strategies.  A couple committee members wanted to discuss the Comprehensive Improvement Plan process, however, it was agreed that the current process stands as is until a new one is presented and approved at Town Meeting for a vote. 

At the two- hour mark, the Committee pushed the second look at the Water and Natural Resources Goals to a future meeting – possibly December 12th

Scott will now take the committee’s comments and suggestions, revise the drafts and resend them to the committee for further review. 

The next meeting is scheduled for November 13th with a tentative agenda that includes Historic Resources and an Aging in Place speaker from the Maine Council on Aging. At several meetings during the past year, short conversations have occurred regarding services for seniors.  A few areas brought up for consideration are the level of housing needed, assisted living facilities and services needed by seniors.  The purpose for the speaker from the Maine Council on Aging is to provide background to the committee and the residents for a richer discussion of the open questions at a future meeting.

For more information and to sign up for ongoing email updates on the comprehensive plan work contact the Town Planner, Scott Hastings at shastings@newgloucester.com or (207)926-4126 ext 4.

Video of the October 24 meeting can be found here   Materials and videos for this and other meetings can be found on the NG website: newgloucester.com.

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