February 16, 2013

Litchfield comprehensive plan committee wants more public input

By Betty Adams badams@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

LITCHFIELD -- The Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee is hoping for more public input Wednesday on issues being readied for inclusion in a draft of a new Comprehensive Plan.

The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria at Carrie Ricker Middle School.

"This session here is to have a kind of open discussion," said Beth Ashcroft, who co-chairs the steering committee with Patrick Sirois.

She said the committee has "some little teaser questions" around certain areas: economic development, affordable housing, the effect of the aging of the baby boom generation, land use and development, recreation, road maintenance, water quality and town government."

Some of those items were cited by about 300 residents who responded to a survey last April prepared by the steering committee, which was formed in early 2011.

More than 80 percent of responders listed the following items as "very important" or "somewhat important" for the town's future: supporting agriculture, improving local roads, protecting town resources, preserving the town's rural character and supporting local forestry.

"We felt people sort of liked the way the town looked," Ashcroft said.

Ashcroft said some existing town committees have contributed as well.

Litchfield's Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 2000.

Ashcroft said the goal is to collect input at Wednesday's meeting, complete a draft of the plan and submit it to the state by late March or early April.

If it's deemed complete, Ashcroft said, a public hearing would be scheduled so people can offer comments, and a final version could go to voters at the annual Town Meeting in June.

Betty Adams -- 621-5631


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