By Bonnie Adams, Government Editor
Westborough –Selectman Tim Dodd met with the Economic Development Committee (EDC) Feb. 7 to present an overview of the Open Space Committee's (OSC) proposed plan to be presented to the voters at the Annual Town Meeting (ATM) Saturday, March 17.
Dodd, who is on the OSC as the Board of Selectmen's representative, said the state mandates that a municipality update its open space plan every five years. The new plan, he said, has a full accounting of the town's open space, including protected and unprotected parcels that are privately-owned, state-owned or owned by the town.
“We'se done an excellent job in this town protecting open space,” he said. “But this plan will also help us to look at land that might be developable instead of kept as open space.”
It was important for the town to submit this type of plan to the state, he added, in order to qualify for a number of available state grants.
Dodd said that the OSC hoped to get the approval of other town departments for the plan before it goes before the voters at ATM.
Lester Hensley, the EDC chair, said he thought it was prudent for the EDC members to review the plan and offer feedback.
“I think there's a synergy between our mission and open space,” he added. “It used to be that economic development and open space were at odds. But we know that businesses are looking for communities that have balance.”
Dodd said the full report will be on the town's website, http://www.town.westborough.ma.us/Public_Documents/index, by Feb. 10.
There will also be a public hearing regarding the plan Tuesday, Feb. 28, in Room 23 in the Forbes Municipal Building. (Check the town's website for the time.) For more on the EDC meeting, go to www.communityadvocate/westborough.