Team to take action on Wilbraham’s vision
By Chris Mazachrism@thereminder.com
WILBRAHAM – In an effort to advance some of the ideas and recommendations put forth in the report made by the Vision Task Force, a Vision Action Team was recently established.
Frederick Fuller, Planning Board vice chair and member of the Vision Task Force Steering Committee, explained that because the board was behind for the creation of a task force to explore what projects residents wished to see in the future, it felt it also had a responsibility to make sure those findings were implemented in some way.
“We all know the Vision Task Force has spent thousands of hours and there’s a long report and a lot of recommendations and we know that that can’t go and just sit there on the shelf,” he said.
Fuller added that the Planning Board has taken on a handful of projects it felt it could address such as business in the center of town and the possible demolition of the building on Boston Road that was formerly the Belli Restaurant and the Ground Round, however, Tracy Plantier, a member of the Vision Task Force who came forward to serve on the action team, explained that many of the task force’s findings were not matters of planning.
“The Planning Board recognized in the spring when we gave them some primary recommendations that a lot of the things we were talking about went way beyond the planning board’s frame of reference and what they are accountable for or had the authority to work on. The idea is, ‘What happens to everything else?’” she said.
Plantier continued by stating that the Vision Action Team would not be an active participant in initiating projects, but rather would act as a “steering committee” to guide for volunteers who wish to address certain aspects of the Vision Task Force’s recommendation.
“Most likely because we are passionate and interested, some of us may take on a project, but it’s not going to necessarily be each person on this action team implementing a project,” she said.
Among the projects that were identified as workable without the need for many resources was getting more people engaged with services provided through the town’s website, such as the town news notifications.
Fuller said only 351 residents were currently signed up for that service. Plantier said the lack of utilization of the website by the public was an observation made by the Vision Task Force and not a recommendation from any specific resident and she would be taking on that project personally.
“That’s been in place for a while, but I just don’t think it’s been communicated as well as it could be,” she said. “We saw ideas over and over again that were stated in the survey that were things the town had already done that no one knew about because there was no way to communicate it out.
“So we thought one of the things that would help the town tremendously if nothing else was done was to improve the communication in the town and focus on the Internet site, which has the capabilities right now, but people don’t know about it, don’t know how to get to it, [or] don’t necessarily feel comfortable technically,”?she continued.