TOPSHAM — Input culled from four neighborhood meetings held early this year will be discussed in a wrap-up workshop Monday.

The 6 p.m. gathering will be held at the Topsham Public Library, 25 Foreside Road. The Board of Selectmen will then meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 31, at the Topsham Municipal Complex to discuss the information presented and set goals for the coming year.

The board will “follow up on any additional comments we get from the public,” Town Manager Rich Roedner said.

The four meetings — one for each quadrant of town, as roughly divided at the intersection of Routes 196 (Lewiston Road) and Interstate 295 — were held by selectmen in January, and followed an initial round in 2015. The July 29 meeting will report back what town officials gleaned from this winter’s sessions.

Attendance in each neighborhood ranged from eight to 32 people, representing about 2.5% of Topsham’s residences, according to a town summary.

The meetings were intended “to hear back from residents about concerns they’ve got, things that they think we’re doing well, what is it they’re looking to see happen,” Roedner said July 10.


Concerns about traffic issues like speeding were often heard, and the town has taken steps to address those by hiring more police officers, he said. Despite now being fully staffed, the department has one officer who just graduated from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, two who are about to enter, and one who will enroll later this year.

“We’re still not quite a year away from not only being fully staffed, but fully functional,” Roedner said.

The town has also been using new traffic radar units on trailers to slow speeding motorists.

Increased safety around signage, traffic lights and crosswalks was another issue discussed and a lit crosswalk signal on Foreside Road will be one remedy implemented. Desires for broader recreational programs and access, opportunities for pedestrians and bicyclists, and a community center were aired as well. The town seeks members this month for a committee to explore the latter topic.

Comments about Topsham’s government, another key discussion topic, chiefly concerned how it provides information to residents, the manager explained. Communication is a constantly-changing environment, Roedner said: where legal advertisements once sufficed, social media websites like Facebook and Twitter are now critical resources as well.

“We are working at updating our website so that it is more user-friendly,” Roedner said.

He did note that there are still plenty of residents who do not use the internet regularly and still rely on more traditional ways of getting the word out.

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