China’s Sept. 25 Comprehensive Plan Committee meeting began with Kennebec Valley Council of Governments planner Joel Greenwood and one committee member; eventually, three more members arrived for a rambling discussion of the comprehensive plan sections on economic development and transportation.
The committee’s purpose is to develop a revised comprehensive plan to replace China’s 2008 version. Greenwood said at an earlier meeting he expects a draft by the end of the year, local and state review early in 2020 and perhaps acceptance or rejection by voters at the 2020 town business meeting in March or early April.
At the Sept. 25 meeting, those present reaffirmed a July decision to encourage focusing economic development along the Route 3 corridor (see The Town Line, Aug. 8) and agreed that attempts to provide public transportation have not been successful.
Informal suggestions for promoting economic development included installing water and sewer systems (Irene Belanger’s idea that she and everyone else agreed would be too expensive to be practical); reducing taxes, especially the personal property tax (Tom Rumpf’s idea); or installing a charging station for electric cars (Belanger’s idea).
Rumpf would especially like to bring in manufacturing, which would add employed people to the local population, and more retail businesses. Retirement homes and medical facilities would also be useful and would work together, he pointed out. Town water and sewers would be an incentive for that kind of development, Belanger said.
Rumpf, president of the China Four Seasons Club, told the group recreational trails are an important asset. China has 57 miles of trails, he said, and people on snowmobiles and four-wheelers bring significant amounts of money into town.
The next Comprehensive Plan Committee meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23. Interested residents are welcome.