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OEDC survey calls for closer-knit community

May 16, 2018
OSSIPEE — Ossipee Economic Development Committee member Misty Ryder told selectmen here May 14 about the new energetic and involved citizens working on a common vision to live in a community where children and families thrive. Her comments were part of the OEDC presentation of the group's community survey results.

Change is needed, she said, to make Ossipee a closer-knit community. It is a place "struggling with the heroin epidemic" and its effects have been "devastating" she noted as she spoke to the need for a community center where citizens can make friendships, be less isolated, and become more connected.

Ryder said she has chosen to pursue buying a house in Ossipee rather than follow her family's urging to seek opportunity elsewhere because she believes in the good work being done by OEDC and Ossipee Listens.

OEDC held an Envision Night event earlier this year, asking the 40 or so participants to brainstorm and make note of thing they would like to see in Ossipee's future. Members of the group including Ryder, Matt Trahan, and ash Fischbein presented the results of that event as well as the surveys done on Election Day in March. Among the top ideas, there was a lot of support for Center Ossipee Village sidewalks, improving the Ossipee Concerned Citizens' playground, building a community center, and exploring ways to bring hydroelectric and solar power to town.

Fischbein had in hand a Plan NH Charette report from 2007 that has, by all accounts, been sitting gathering dust on a shelf. While the report contains many great ideas, he said, none were never implemented. There is new energy, and new volunteers involved that, he said, are willing to help see through any improvements the selectmen are willing to support. He noted the OEDC advocacy for both the village sidewalk project that is now likely to be completed by the town's public work department this year and the business property tax credit initiative that passed voter muster at March Town Meeting. Applications for that program are available and on the town website at www.ossipee.org.

Economic development is about much more than bringing "brick and mortar" to town by way of businesses opening. It is about highlighting some areas and improving or creating others that enhance the quality of life and attract business to not only move to Ossipee but to maintain a workforce to support them.

The group was scheduled to repeat their presentation at the Ossipee Planning Board meeting May 15. Both presentations can be viewed at www.governmentoversite.com. All meeting minutes can be viewed on the Town Web site or at the town hall during normal business hours.

Martin Lord Osman
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