The Worumbo Mill building was demolished in 2016. Times Record file

The Lisbon Development Committee is making plans for the former Worumbo Mill site and wants public input.

On Sept.n7, the town council awarded a bid to The Chesapeake Group, an economic analysis and development firm, to conduct a market analysis in Lisbon, including the site.

The findings combined with additional community input will help identify redevelopment opportunities in the town, said Brett Richardson, the town’s economic development director, at the development committee meeting Wednesday.

The first phase of the analysis examines regional and local markets and the opportunities for future housing and commercial development in Lisbon. 

The second phase is a feasibility analysis of two redevelopment scenarios for the Worumbo site.  

“There will be a community survey after the first phase of the market analysis is done to get input from the community on what two scenarios the community would like the Chesapeake group to use for their feasibility analysis,” said Richardson. “We will have the opportunity through this market analysis to pick two different development scenarios and to do a deep dive with the proforma around what the financial performance of that would be and how much investment would be required.”

Surveys will add crucial data, Richardson added.

“Hopefully, the surveys will encourage people to go to the meetings, and then the meetings drive the next survey,” said Lisa Ward, a planning board committee member. “The purpose is presentation, but those meetings will include public input and public comment.”

The community retail survey is likely to occur in October. The survey will be held online, but Richardson said they would make it accessible to everyone.

“I think as a committee, we need to put our heads together or maybe select or solicit outside help to come up with the best way to reach the maximum number of people so that we get 6,000 survey results that are meaningful,” said Don Fellows, a committee member.

Fellows added the content of the even with open-ended result possibility. 

Lisbon residents were asked to complete a survey last year, picking from three potential development scenarios developed by the two private firms to facilitate meaningful public input. However, some residents criticized the survey as it covered only 306 people out of 10,000 residents. 

Sandy Harkin, the owner of the nearby Railroad Pub, appeared cautious in terms of her hopes for future development.

“As time goes on, things do wind up getting developed,” Harkin said. “But to me, you have to be careful what you are developing and what you are losing. It’s not about the dollars and cents and how high the skyscraper can be. Once it’s up there, everything is blocked.” 

Lisbon Development Committee members during a meeting on Wednesday Screenshot


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