HARTFORD – At a public hearing Saturday, Hartford residents got a look at the first 40 pages of the draft of a revised comprehensive plan.

The state requires an update on a plan of growth for towns every 10 years. All seven members of the Comprehensive Committee were present to conduct the hearing.

The completed portions of the draft covered the history of Hartford, historic resources, cultural resources, scenic areas, recreational and natural resources, land use, population, education, economy, housing public facilities, municipal administration, fiscal capacity and natural hazards. Feedback was taken from residents on all areas of the draft inventory.

Though only 11 residents were present, committee member Dave Kraske said that was more than he expected based on the percentage of returned questionnaires from town residents.

Committee member Dan Maddox said that the returns represented about 20 percent of the town’s population. June Davis, who served on the last Comprehensive Committee, said they had actually taken the questionnaires to each home and returned to pick them up but had about the same results as the mailed questionnaires.

Selectman Lee Holman asked how the committee could get more results from the town. Committee member Judy Hamilton noted that Saturday’s meeting was the first of several hearings planned.

The consensus of the residents present was that the committee has done an admirable job. After the document is completed, the committee will submit the revised draft to the Androscoggin Valley Council on Government for approval, then to a town meeting and back to the state for final approval.

The residents present were asked to write goals they’d like to see incorporated in the plan. Some goals discussed were: to keep the small town atmosphere, maintain and protect the lakes, have a “welcome to Hartford” packet for newcomers, consider senior housing, record more history from older residents, look at regionalization and post welcome signs at the town lines.

The meeting was a relaxed one, with one resident busily shelling a bushel of beans as another did mending.

Neil Hanley chairs the Comprehensive Plan Committee. The other members are Judy Hamilton, Diana Carro, Peggy Poskus, Dave Kraske, John Convey and Dan Maddox.


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