JAY — A planning committee is holding a public forum Thursday on a draft of the updated comprehensive plan to guide the town into the future.

The forum begins at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 17 at the town office. Copies of the draft are available at the town office or the website, www.jay-maine.org.

Members of the Comprehensive Planning Update Committee have been working on the proposal for about a year. They pulled together information and analyzed it with the help of John Maloney, a planner with Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments. The goal was to determine where the town is now and where people would like it to be in 10 years.

The town’s current plan was adopted in 1996. According to the committee, it is outdated and needs to be changed to reflect current needs.

The new plan reflects the changes that have occurred in Jay and surrounding areas in the last 15 years. It includes area trends and the locations of town cemeteries, public buildings, ball fields, historic buildings and sites, as well as capital investment needs expected over the next 10 years.

The priority investment is improving gateways to town. It is listed to be done in 2011-12, if the plan is approved in June.

Medium priorities are Chisholm Trail improvements and extension, 2011-15; Parker Pond public access, 2015-20; open space/recreation land protection, 2011-20; storm water, 2011-16; North Jay Quarry purchase, 2015; and sidewalk improvements, 2012-20.

A low priority is bicycle lanes, 2012-20.

No cost estimates are listed for proposed capital investments.

The 133-page document goes over goals, policies and strategies and gives details of the varying sections of the town from forestland to residential.

It includes state highway improvement plans, assets in town and motor vehicle crash data.

A public hearing on the proposed plan will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, May 2, at the Jay High School library. A referendum vote on the plan will be held on Tuesday, June 14.

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