January 25, 2013

Waterville comprehensive plan meeting set for Monday

By Amy Calder acalder@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

WATERVILLE — Residents wanting to help set the course for the city over the 10 next 10 years are invited to a meeting Monday to discuss the city’s comprehensive plan.

“We want public participation,” City Planner Ann Beverage said Friday. “That’s really an important part of the process.”

The meeting will be  7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Large Print Room on the fourth floor of Waterville Public Library.

The city’s current comprehensive plan was adopted by the City Council in 1997, according to Beverage.

“The state found it consistent with the state goals for planning,” she said.

The state requires communities to regularly update their comprehensive plans and address issues including population, housing, the economy, public facilities, recreation, historical and cultural resources, natural resources and land use.

The city recently hired Bill Najpauer to facilitate Monday’s meeting, as well as meetings scheduled for Feb. 11 and 25, March 11 and 25 and April 8. Councilors voted to pay Najpauer $4,625 for his work.  He will ensure participants keep on track and address issues that need to be addressed, according to Beverage.

City Council Chairman Erik Thomas, D-Ward 4, and Councilor Eliza Mathias, D-Ward 6, have been getting the word out about the meetings and are encouraging public participation, Beverage said.

She said she expects other city councilors and Planning Board members will attend the meeting, and city department heads have been invited.

“The Planning Board has to approve the plan or approve it with changes and recommend it to the City Council,” Beverage said.

The City Council then votes whether to approve the plan, she said.

“It’s especially important to have Planning Board members and city councilors attend, but we need public participation to make sure we consider all the issues -- so we understand how the public wants us to deal with solutions,” she said.

Having an updated council-approved comprehensive plan the state deems consistent with state goals for planning makes a community eligible for extra points on state grant applications, according to Beverage.

Those wanting more information on the comprehensive plan may go to www.waterville-me.gov and click on Planning Department and Comprehensive Plan.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

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