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Visioning Task Force continues business, community meetings

Date: 8/8/2013

By Chris Maza

WILBRAHAM – In preparation for the presentation of its findings, the Vision Task Force is continuing to meet with town committees and community groups, including businesses.

Chuck Phillips, chair of the Vision Task Force, told Reminder Publications a meeting with the Boston Road Business Association has been scheduled for Aug. 14 in the hopes of getting area businesses on board with the implementation of a plan developed through the data collected by the task force.

“I think it’s absolutely vital,” Phillips said of business involvement. “The amount of information that came in as part of the vision surveying process really was substantial and the amount that came in on Boston Road specifically and a desire to create a real positive image of the community through the development of Boston Road and enhancements on Boston Road was very common among the comments we received. It’s right at the top of our list.”

In addition to meeting with specific groups, a preview of the presentation has been running regularly on Wilbraham Public Access Television.

Phillips explained the purpose of the information gathering and the presentation of the information was designed specifically to help the community identify areas of need and things residents would like to see done to improve the town in the future.

He said reaching out to groups and the community in advance of the official presentation of the data on Sept. 17 and Sept. 21 at Minnechaug Regional High School was important in garnering interest and excitement in the process.

“We’d like to get the word on the street because word of mouth is still one of the best means for getting people to come to things,” he said. “In addition to cards and signs we’re developing to announce the events, we still want to get that word of mouth thing going and we still want that community enthusiasm for the process.”

The presentation will include a rotating slide show that will feature photos of the town as well as potential headlines on future developments for the town, followed by a PowerPoint presentation of the data. After that, there will be a public input session.

“We’re excited about the process and we know that people who attend these meetings will be excited as well. We think it’s an excellent opportunity for Wilbraham to address the key interests of its citizens,” Phillips said.

Phillips also said there was discussion at a joint meeting with the Vision Task Force Steering Committee regarding the implementation of a plan developed based upon the data collected and discussions at the meeting.

“The Steering Committee is moving forward with a plan to put things into action quickly and is developing ideas for creating a committee to oversee the process,” he said, adding the makeup of the committee is still being discussed. “There would be representatives from the business community, from the town government and some at-large members. There would also be representatives from key elements within the community such as seniors and recreation and things of that nature. It would be a broad-based committee with the way it’s looking at this point.”