Northern Hilltowns Invite Residents to Update Community Development Strategies

Andrew Baker, Executive Director of the Hilltown CDC in Chesterfield, MA writes:

Each year, residents of the seven Northern Hilltowns gather in public community meetings to dust off their community’s “to do” list, note what they have accomplished, and gather ideas for future community improvement projects. The Northern Hilltowns are Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Plainfield, Westhampton, Williamsburg and Worthington. Their “to do” lists are also known as the town Community Development Strategy (CDS). And the annual review is a necessary part of each town’s participation in the Northern Hilltowns Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. This year a successful CDBG application secured over $1 million in federal funding to support programs and projects serving elders and families in the seven towns.

To follow is the schedule of public meetings, which take place in the Select Board meeting room of each town:

  • Chesterfield: Monday, October 19 5:30 pm at the Town Offices (Davenport School Building), 422 Main Road.
  • Worthington: Tuesday, October 20 7:30 pm at the Town Hall, Huntington Road.
  • Williamsburg: Thursday, October 22 7:30 pm at Town Hall, 141 Main Street, Haydenville.
  • Westhampton: Monday, October 26 7:30 pm at Town Hall, One South Road.
  • Plainfield: Tuesday, October 27 7:00 pm at Town Hall, 304 Main Street.
  • Cummington: Thursday, October 29 7:00 pm at the Cummington Community House, Main Street.
  • Goshen: Monday, November 9 7:00 pm at the Town Hall, Main Street.

Each Community Development Strategy is a seven-page document which briefly summarizes the town’s recent planning documents, outlines municipal goals and contains a priority list of community projects. All residents are invited to participate with their selectboard in reviewing their town strategy. These first meetings provide opportunities for public comment and input. At a second follow up meeting a few weeks later, each select board reviews the input and makes decisions about whether and how to edit its CDS document. At that meeting, specific projects eligible for federal block grant funding are also discussed.

For more information about the CDS review process or to request a copy of your town’s CDS document, contact Andrew Baker at the Hilltown Community Development Corporation at: andrewb@hilltowncdc.org or (413) 296-4536 ext. 18.

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