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20/20 lays out vision

The Bethlehem Town Board heard the progress of the town's 20/20 Advisory Committee, which is preparing a report on strategic direction of the town for the year 2020.

George Leveille, director of economic development and planning, told board members at a Wednesday, Oct. 8, meeting at Town Hall that the committee expects to put out a townwide survey by early 2009 and will present its findings soon after.

The committee of about 30 residents has met eight times since it was first formed in January and has formed three subcommittees dealing with the survey, communications and financial bonds.

Leveille said quarterly reports are released on the committee's findings and progress. He told the board the committee is looking at the future growth of the town, including population, construction, infrastructure, revenue and economic opportunities.

"We're going to package this all together so you, as the elected body of the town, can help make decisions to ensure we can achieve our community vision for 2020," Leveille said.

Leveille said the group has been meeting and gathering information but now is ready to start formulating its findings.

"We're really moving from what I would consider discovery and we're now really moving into the financial side and quickly moving into recommendations on where we go from here," Leveille said. "By January we'll have draft recommendations that will be subject to a community survey."

Leveille said he expects good participation in the town survey, citing the survey taken as part of the town's comprehensive plan, which saw a 40 percent response rate of those canvassed.

"That is an extraordinarily high response rate," Leveille said of the previous survey participation.

Leveille said the committee findings and survey would be presented in public during smaller meetings to "key committee organizations" around the town in a "rotating town hall type meeting" to have an open exchange with the community.

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