After a thorough review of consultants’ proposals by the Comprehensive Plan Task Force, the select board has chosen the Yarmouth-based land use planning group Viewshed to assist the task force.
Task force member Amy Haible led the review process and said that Viewshed has expertise in critical areas, including hydrology, housing, natural resources, mapping and analysis, community outreach and economics. Equally important, Viewshed has supported planning efforts in other Maine towns and is comprised of professionals who live nearby and understand Harpswell.
Viewshed will not write the plan, but will provide the task force with information and analysis that will help guide the effort for the next 18 months. Top concerns continue to be: access to potable water, preservation of commercial fishing and natural resources, maintenance of infrastructure in the face of climate change and sea level rise, and future land use issues.
The town will pay Viewshed $92,673 for its work, according to the contract. Of this amount, $90,000 will come from federal funds distributed to the town as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, the $1.9 billion coronavirus relief package. The remaining $2,673 will come from the Planning Office budget.
Task force activity will continue to be open to all Harpswell residents. Community engagement through neighborhood meetings, online surveys, the town’s website, local newspapers and Harpswell Community TV will ensure the process remains transparent.
For more information, email Mark Eyerman, town planner, at email@example.com, or Kayla Matthews, staff assistant, at firstname.lastname@example.org.