A vision for the future

Peterborough: Good turnout for town’s 2014 Vision Forum, results to help inform update of town’s Master Plan vision chapter

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  • Jason Czekalski, 51, of Rindge, right, plead guilty to violating a protective order at the 8th Circuit Court in Jaffrey on Thursday. Czekalski was represented by his public defender, James P. O'Rourke, left.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

More than 200 people from Peterborough — and even a few from surrounding towns — turned out for the two-day Peterborough 2014 Vision Forum on Friday and Saturday.

Peterborough resident Chris Anderson echoed the sentiments of many in the audience on Friday night, when he said he wanted to be “part of shaping the future of Peterborough.”

The event started Friday night with a free pizza and salad dinner at 5:30 p.m. Steve Hahn sat at a table in the ConVal High School cafeteria, noting that, although he and his wife live in Hillsborough, they own a house in Peterborough and plan to move into it soon. “We are here because we have a stake in what Peterborough looks like,” he said.

“The concept of this event is good,” he added. “It’s good to see how towns in the area go about facing these types of challenges.”

Heather Peterson of Peterborough said she attended the last vision session 10 years ago and was hoping to gain a sense of “what people want Peterborough to be.”

Resident Sandy Eneguess said he too wants to know what others are thinking. “I want my land value to stay high as well as my life experiences,” he said.

After a presentation by Pete Throop, community development director for the town of Peterborough, attendees participated in a lively group discussion about how they currently see the town and where they hoped to see the town in the future.

Dan Reidy from the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension — the group organizing and facilitating the event — led the opening talks.

Afterwards attendees met in small groups on topics, including downtown vitality, “your third place” — meaning where you like to go beyond home, work or school — economic vitality, natural environment, open space and working lands, community facilities and infrastructure, land use and the look and feel of our town.

The event ended Friday at 9 p.m.

Although fewer people attended Saturday April 12, Throop said the he was very pleased with the results and that feedback has been “extremely positive.” “Saturday gave us an opportunity to look at complex issues in more depth,” Throop said.

Once all of the results, comments, flip charts and presentations are collected and recorded, the UNH Cooperative Extension will issue a report to the town of Peterborough. This report will be used to create a town-wide survey, which will be mailed to every home in Peterborough, said Throop.

Throop hopes the survey will be out this summer, so that the results can be used to revise the vision chapter of the Master Plan this fall. “Our goal is create a vision chapter that everyone feels excited and energized about,” he said.

To view presentations or find results from the vision forum go to the town website at www.townofpeterborough.com. Anyone interested helping to analyze data or draft chapters of the Master Plan may contact the Office of Community Development at 924-800 ext. 104.

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