Planning Front: Plenty happening as spring arrives

By Anne Krieg, AICP

Director of Planning, Economic & Community Development,

Town of Bridgton

Plenty is happening along with the March winds barreling down the streets of Bridgton!

The Board of Selectmen is receiving applications for a newly created ad hoc committee called the Land Use & Zoning Committee. This committee will recommend land use/zoning regulation taken from the 2014 Comprehensive Plan’s policies found in the Land Use Plan. This is an important step in the implementation of the comprehensive plan and is a top priority project. If you are interested in serving on this committee, an application is on the town’s website and also can be found in the municipal building with the town clerk’s office.

The bid for a new signage system for Bridgton is out! The Community Development Committee worked very hard putting this together. I look forward to getting this going in the spring/summer.

Staff continues to work on funding options for a new wastewater system.

We are also working on the funding of the furnace at Town Hall. As you all know, the Town Hall is closed due to a break in the furnace. Selectmen, at their March 19 workshop, asked staff to bring furnace funding options to become part of the current phase of Town Hall renovations. We have a bid ready to go for Phase I and we will now look to add the furnace to the project. Staff will also provide a proposal to selectmen to analyze the interior of the building for future renovation phasing.

We also are working with the SAD 61 Superintendent of Schools and the School Board to continue discussions on the reuse or redevelopment of the Bridgton Memorial School site.

The Rufus Porter Museum façade work is about to begin. We just signed a contract with M&S Builders so you should be seeing some activity there soon!

CDBG projects for the next year, starting July 1, 2015, are continuing to be discussed by selectmen. We are looking at projects to further renovate the Bridgton Community Center, as well parking on Main Hill and a new bathroom facility at Highland Beach.

Preparation work for the BikeMaine event happening in Bridgton on Sept. 14 is ongoing. We have a great Core Committee, which includes a Town Coordinator position, which is me, along with help from Town Manager Bob Peabody and Recreation Director Gary Colello; a Food Coordinator, Bridgton Community Center Director Carmen Lone; Bicycle Advocate, Selectmen Chairman Bernie King; and Entertainment Coordinator, Carrye Castleman-Ross. We will also have a representative from the Chamber as part of the Core Committee. We are also looking to more involvement as we move forward; we have heard from many service organizations such as the Lion’s Club, the Masons and the Rotary Club. We will also be looking to the business community, residents and property owners along the route to participate. We are holding a party for 350 people right in our downtown so we want to make it big and fun! We will be having a public information meeting on Bridgton BikeMaine 2015 on Thursday, April 9 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Municipal Building. Please RSVP as there will be refreshments! (Call 647-8786, or e-mail to ecodevdir@bridgtonmaine.org). There will be another public information meeting in June/July and then one closer to the event to get ready!

Town Manager Bob Peabody and I are cooking at the Community Kettle dinner at the Bridgton Community Center for March 26. We are making a fish chowder. Dinner is at 5 p.m. I love doing this a few times a year! The dinner is open and free for all to come — the food is great so I highly recommend it!

The Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) is on the road talking to different regions of the state. Bridgton is hosting a regional discussion on Wednesday, April 1 (no, really, we are, no April Fools!) at either 2 to 4 p.m. or 6 to 8 p.m. The discussion will take place in the meeting room downstairs of the municipal building.

I will be attending in April a meeting with USDA Rural Development Programs. I am also attending a combined Bridgton-Fryeburg Rotary Club meeting with the Maine DOT Commissioner on April 29. Talk to your favorite Rotarian to score a guest spot to meet the commissioner!

Thank you for your involvement in your town’s workings and decisions. This active involvement is the hallmark of democracy; complacency doesn’t help us serve you best.

April is my three-year mark with the town and it’s a pleasure serving you all!

Enjoy the spring, as it will come!

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