February 23, 2018

Windham Town Council update by Lorraine Glowczak

The Windham Town Council met on Tuesday, February 20 at the Windham Town Hall in the Council Chambers at 6 p.m. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss strategic planning, with a vision of three to five years in the future. A reiteration of 2017 strategic goals and plans were also discussed.

Town Manager, Tony Plante provided a recap and review of the 2017 plans which included, but were not limited to, the following:

·         The hiring of a new Code Enforcement Officer has been completed as well as work continuing forward on the 21st Century Downtown Plan.

·         Wastewater planning is still in the works with targeted tasks to be completed by spring of 2018.

·         The improvement of the Windham Public Library is under construction at the present with plans to be completed by April.
·         A comprehensive strategy is still in process regarding community and civic engagement.

·         Age friendly communities has not been completed yet. 

Directors of each town office and department also provided a summary and briefing to the Council.
Highlights of the reports included, but were not limited to, the following:

·         Police Chief Kevin Schofield shared the fact that it takes a total of 32 weeks to train a police officer. Since there are expected retirements due to happen in the future, an increase in staff will help fill in the shortage as retirements occur. Schofield also stated that there has been increased officer enforcement on River Road.

·         Fire Chief Brent Libby reported that two full-time paramedics will now always be available this year. With the additional staffing response time has improved. “From time of call to a truck on the road is now about 90 seconds,” Libby said.

·         Linda Brooks, Parks and Recreation Director informed the Council on the added summer/seasonal staffing and the work that has taken place on plans for a community center. She also spoke about various on-going programs that include the Family Cultural Series such as the Arts in the Park event that occurred last fall.

·         Library Director, Jen Alvino explained that restoring the position of Circulation Supervisor has been instrumental in providing services, especially since the library became a part of the Minerva Library System.

·         Code Enforcement Officer, Chris Hanson reported that the position of Administrative Assistant has not been filled. He also announced that code enforcement is adopting 2015 codes but staying with the 2009 energy codes.

·         Ben Smith, Planning Director stated that the addition of a staff engineer has been instrumental and a good resource for projects underway as well as with project review.

After a review of the past strategic plans was completed, discussion moved forward for the 2015-2018 strategic goals. Discussion included:

Additions of a Compliance Officer

Increasing transportation services to the South Windham area with services provided by Regional Transportation and the Lake Regions Explorer.

The 2018 Priority A Goals includes water resource protection, shared maintenance facility update, community center concept design, and wastewater improvement to South Windham.

The 2018 Priority B Goals include community and civic engagement, establishing community events as a way to bring people together, age-friendly community efforts, as well as establishing a grant writing position as a way to increase access to funds.

The meeting ended at 8 p.m.

For a full account on all department reports as well as goals accomplished, and goals set for the new year, contact the Town Manager’s office at 892-1907 or go to the town website at www.windhammaine.us. All Council meetings are recorded and can be viewed on Facebook live.

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