Mike Corthell

Mike Corthell
Editor & Publisher at Fryeburg Free Press MEDIA

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Why Fryeburg Needs an Updated Comprehensive Plan

by Mike Corthell

Everything that we see around us, right now, is the result of change. There is nothing that nature loves more than change.

Fryeburg Maine's comprehensive plan details what has happened to make the town what it is today and what is happening that will change the town in the future. The plan is also a statement by the public of what we like about our town and what we would like the Fryeburg of the future to be. 

In the original public survey 82% of the respondents stated that the town can attract new business and create new jobs without harming it's citizen or the natural environment.

The comprehensive plan is both a blueprint and a road map. If it is used as intended it will help us achieve our community goals. 

As I see it there are six identifiable issues that need to be addressed:

  • Maintaining Fryeburg's rural character.
  • Preserving it's natural environment.
  • Increasing economic opportunities while maintaining the town's natural beauty.
  • Improving the quality of education.
  • Managing traffic flow and maintenance of roads.
  • Find ways to increase and further develop tourism. 

The current plan was developed in 1994 and updated in 1998. It is now outdated.  All towns change over time and it is important that any plan changes also. Real estate and business development can impact the town for good or ill. In short, as the town grows demand for services grows. Sound town planning, much like a solid business plan for a company just makes good sense.

Many people think about starting a business but very few would start one, especially a multi-million dollar business without a well thought-out business plan. Fryeburg's operating budget is in the millions of dollars. Shouldn't our town have a solid, updated business plan too? That is exactly what a comprehensive plan is - a community business plan.

To have an outside firm such as Southern Maine Planners update our Comp Plan would cost approximately $25,000. Right now Fryeburg has $12,000 earmarked toward updating the comprehensive plan. With a good amount of citizen involvement and voluntary committee efforts, much of the $25,000 cost can be reduced. In fact, I believe that we can get the plan revised for the money already allocated - $12,000. 

Fryeburg needs an updated comprehensive plan and a new vision for the future. You are invited to be part of developing comprehensive plan that will set our town on the path to greater prosperity and beauty through responsible, measured progress.

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