The panel working on Wiscasset’s next decade of goals regrouped Thursday night, Feb. 4. The comprehensive plan committee got a new chair and some new help, and members renewed their plans for a town-wide survey.
It might get more responses than it would have in last year’s political season, member Jason Putnam said. “People were really fatigued with that sort of thing. And now that we’re into a new year ... people might be more willing to do this and feel like, with spring coming ... this is more worthy than they may have. So there’s possibly a silver lining to the (survey’s) delay.”
Town Manager Dennis Simmons agreed. “There does seem to be a little bit of a new energy in town of late.”
Remember when they had meetings together, outgoing chair Kim Andersson asked fellow members over Zoom as she showed a video of an in-person meeting on the plan. Andersson resigned as chair due to lack of time, for personal reasons, and will stay on the committee. Members unanimously voted Sarah Whitfield the new chair.
Work started in July 2019 with a meeting that yielded a core group, Andersson recalled. Some of the updates to the town resources the 2008 comp plan cited, including facilities, transportation and regional coordination, are done or about done, Andersson said.
Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Mary Ellen Barnes and LCRPC planner Emily Rabbe are now aiding the effort as part of the commission’s planning services for Wiscasset. Barnes said the survey will be “super important,” as will reaching out to residents often and creatively. “(That) is going to make your plan that much more interesting to people, and everyone will vote yes ... to approve this.”
Committee members planned to take a fresh look at the survey, make any changes via email, then put it online and on paper at the municipal building and Wiscasset Community Center and possibly Wiscasset Public Library and LCRPC. The panel meets next at 6 p.m. March 4 on Zoom. Member Zachary Gray said the panel can look then at early survey results.