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Vision Task Force to host 'Imagine Wilbraham Day'

Date: 12/4/2012

By Chris Maza

WILBRAHAM — In a continued effort to garner input on the direction of Wilbraham, the Vision Task Force will host "Imagine Wilbraham Day."

The event, which will allow residents to voice their opinions on several aspects of the community in a public forum, will take place on Dec. 8 from 9 a.m. to noon in the cafeteria of Minnechaug Regional High School.

"People are welcome to come as long as they wish, whether it be all day or for 10 minutes," Vision Task Force Chair Chuck Phillips said.

The event is the latest and most personal means through which the Vision Task Force — which was created by the Planning Board as a tool in its quest to establish a new Master Plan — plans to gather data.

"Back in February, after the Task Force was put together by the Planning Board, we have been conducting online and written surveys," Phillips said. "This is a new effort to attract people to speak with us through a multi-faceted event."

The Vision Task Force hopes to have enough data to make a full and accurate report to the Planning Board on how residents feel about the future of the town by early 2013, Phillips explained. Once that report is filed, the Planning Board will use the information to determine what the next step in the process should be.

After receiving approximately 300 online surveys and 160 written surveys, Task Force members determined that it would be helpful to gain further anecdotal information, which could be gained more readily through face-to-face interaction.

"We felt after we completed some of the surveys that we wanted to give people some flexibility in reporting their opinions to us."

Residents will have the opportunity to voice their opinions on several different aspects of the town, from schools to housing to commercial business.

"There will be time for people to comment on our educational system, which a lot of people feel is a major draw for this town," he said. "There will also be opportunities to talk about businesses — businesses that people think might thrive here and businesses that already exist that could continue to flourish."

Comments will be received through a host of different formats.

For example, Phillips said, residents may be asked to look at photos of different areas or buildings in town and tell Task Force members what they feel the future use of that may be, or if it has a future in the town at all.

Children are also encouraged to take part in the event through activities such as the creation of a mural that will symbolize the future of the town, Phillips said.

Door prizes and refreshments will be available for those in attendance.