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  • Writer's pictureJessica Cyr

Defining areas

The Downtown Revitalization Planning Advisory Committee (DRPAC) meeting on March 4, 2024, was productive, sparking insightful conversations on various crucial topics. Among the attendees was Dan Boyle, representing the Historic District Commission, who shared valuable commentary about the buildings in our downtown.

One of the key discussion points was the definition of areas. The Town has two historic areas: the Town's Historic District (which will soon receive new street signs) and buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places, as designated by the Secretary of the Interior. Mr. Boyle highlighted that the Town's downtown area features structures from different eras, making it a diverse representation of its history.

Mr. Boyle also shed light on the significance of Powderhouse Hill to the community as he is also seated on the Town's Recreation Committee. Noting that it is part of Ski Maine, Mr. Boyle emphasized that the hill attracts visitors to the town, contributing to its economic and recreational value. Yearround activities also contribute to the community, as you can see from the basketball court’s usage. The committee discussed the potential addition of lighting to the hill's parking lot for safety reasons, which may be recommended in the future.

Further conversation surrounded other definitions: Cummings Mill Park as the fields and Shoetown as the playground. The plan's map was also a point of detailed conversation. The map will be finalized once all community feedback has been received. The committee discussed defining the Town's assets and weaknesses, which will be folded into the plan.

There have been over 240 survey responses, and the survey is scheduled to close on Friday, March 15th. Comments from the survey will be compiled and presented to the committee for April's meeting.

A preview of the agenda and presentation for the second public workshop on May 16 was also shared, outlining the next steps in the planning process. We'll continue our work in April and early May meetings to prepare for the next public workshop. You can see that the committee is a dedicated bunch, with varied perspectives, which I find very enjoyable to engage with. This is detailed work, which takes hours to complete, and we are doing our due diligence to ensure that a quality report is produced. Thanks also goes to Denise and Jeff Preble’s (Wright-Pierce) for their efforts.

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