Many thanks to those who attended last night's public information session -- your contributions were invaluable.
Three words summarize the conversation from an Open Space & Trails Committee perspective:
Productive (everyone appeared to walk out with a clearer understanding of others' opinions than when they walked in)
Constructive (new & varying perspectives, like those contributed last night, will be important to ensure all interests have a voice in the ongoing public dialogue)
Encouraging (despite individual concerns, all appeared open to continuing a healthy & respectful dialogue focused on finding solutions to those concerns)
It's important to remember:
The 2014 warrant article to be voted at April 28th Town Meeting commits us to a conceptual design only. It DOES NOT commit to any design elements or further financial expenditures.
A conceptual design will allow project leaders to responsibly engage all parties in formal public dialogue supported by facts.
Our project will incur NO new taxes, now or in the future. 100% Groveland's financial commitment over the next many years will be paid for with existing CPA funds (i.e., funds already set aside for exactly this type of project) and MassDOT state funds.
A finished trail is 8-10 years away. The project timeline is a long and very iterative process, which respects the opinions of all interested and affected parties.
There will be many voter decision-points. Like the vote on April 28th, residents will have multiple opportunities to formally support or dissent the project's advancement as the conversation gets deeper into specifics.