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Brookfield planners hold work session on Master Plan survey results

November 07, 2018
BROOKFIELD — At its last regular meeting on Oct. 18, the Brookfield planning board agreed to hold a work session on Thursday, Nov. 1, to review the results of its survey of residents on Master Plan issues.

The board had set Oct. 18 as the deadline for submitting surveys, but it did agree to accept a last-minute submission at the beginning of the Nov. 1 work session. That brought the total number of surveys returned up to 124, of which 103 had been entered into a spreadsheet for analysis. Residents 60 or older made up 45 percent of those 103 responses.

Before any meaningful analysis of results could be done, all of the responses not yet entered into the Google docs spreadsheet needed to be entered, and most of the work session was taken up by members inputting using laptops over the town offices wi-fi. Member Tim Straz, who has taken responsibility for maintaining the online document, entered surveys by himself, Chairman David Champy II and Vice Chair Geary Ciccarone worked as a team, as did Ed Comeau and Dianne Smith.

In addition to multiple choice responses, comments added to surveys were also entered.

After the surveys were entered, the document was closed to further entries and the board discussed how to report the results to townspeople. The multiple choice responses would be tabulated and presented as bar charts, but how should the comments be summarized?

It was agreed that the comments could be summarized into three rating categories: excellent, fair and poor. Ciccarone observed that most comments on access to Kingswood Lake said it was poor. On the positive side, 91 percent of the surveys said that Brookfield is a desirable place to live.

ZBA Chair Frank Frazier, who had worked on presenting the survey done in 2001 for the last Master Plan revision, recommended that, in addition to categorizing the comments, that the most articulate or interesting comments be reproduced. He felt that this provided added insights valuable to the bigger task of updating the Master Plan. He added that the presentation should note that copies of the original surveys and thus all comments were available.

The board agreed this was a good approach.

Frazier also recommended that the Conservation Commission be delegated to help the planning board update the Natural Resources chapter of the Master Plan. He said the commission has an inventory of natural resources and protected areas in town.

Straz agreed to create the tabulations and bar charts. The board at its next regular meeting on Nov. 15 could review the comments and select those to be reproduced.

Gravel pits

Comeau reported that one of the two gravel pits in town still needs to be inspected but the owner has not responded. Ciccarone agreed to contact the owner to grant permission.

Comeau questioned whether reclamation plans had been done for the pits. Frazier said the pit now owned by Moose Mountain LLC had a plan done by Ed Nason's grandfather. It was really a sand pit a giant pile of sand, and the plan was to close the pit when the pile had been lowered to a specific point. This pit was created before zoning was adopted and thus is grandfathered.

Frazier also noted that a site plan was done for the other pit, known as the Longmeadow/Smith pit, as part of a proposed development that did not go through. Maps from that application should be available.

The next meeting of the planning board will be held on Nov. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the town offices. All meetings can be viewed on governmentoversite.com.

Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
Alton School
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