Comp Plan Minutes: 3/18/19 (Volunteerism, Churches, and Non-Profit Organizations)

AUGUSTA COMPREHENSIVE PLAN COMMITTEE

MINUTES

Sixth Meeting – Volunteerism, Churches, and Non Profit Organizations

Monday, March 18, 2019 at 6pm

Old Fort Western Learning Gallery at City Center

Meeting called to order at 6:01pm.

In attendance: Heather Pouliot, Duane Scott, Kevin Lind, Brad Sawyer, Bob Corey, Justin Frank, Karen Foster, Matt Nazar, Bill McKenna, Katie Smith, Melanie Baillargeon, Robin Miller, Rob Gordon, Kirsten Brewer, Jim Wood, Kevin Judkins, Eric Lind, Tom Warren, Deb Violette, Mark O’Brien, Adam Turner, Jennifer Fortin, Delaine Nye, Sammee Quong, Mary Saunders, Scott Wood, Joshua Hasbrouck, Heidi Hill, Stan Koski, Roberta Record, MaryRose Rodrigues, and (others not identified or signed in).

Welcome remarks and committee introductions:

Members of the public are welcome to share their ideas regarding the future of the any aspect of the city as it relates to volunteerism, churches, and non profit organizations in our community.

Overview of the 2007 comprehensive plan as it relates to volunteerism, churches, and non profit organizations by Matt Nazar:

  • The 2007 comp plan had a subgroup focused on state government and nonprofits.
  • It did not really speak to volunteerism.
  • Volunteerism, churches, and nonprofits are not required by state law when putting together a comp plan; however, they are very relatable and important to Augusta.

Public opportunity to identify concerns/suggestions that they want addressed within the comprehensive plan:

Robin Miller, Family Violence Project and resident: it is important to differentiate between the different types and missions of nonprofits. Some are community-related, some are social programs for specific needs. It would be ideal to have a central location for volunteer opportunities and/or needs of nonprofits.

Rob Gordon, Director at the United Way: the UW represents 47 agencies, with over 400 people serving on the boards of those groups. Provided a handout of the www.uwkv.org/volunteer website they handle to learn about volunteer opportunities. Day of Caring is a great way to get our younger people involved. Also, keep in mind the importance of businesses supporting volunteerism.

Kirsten Brewer, resident: would like to see the comp plan provide information for national service, like AmeriCorp. This awareness can help to recruit new volunteers, and can provide benefit back to the community.

Jim Wood, Transportation Director at KVCAP: wants the comp plan to keep a large focus on transportation issues/opportunities for all people in the community. Here to help in anyway.

Kevin Judkins, Ward 2 City Councilor: consider creating a registry to know what opportunities are available in the community. It will also help organizations get the word out about how to volunteer. Could the city help coordinate all of this?

Eric Lind, Ward 4 City Councilor: communities grow when we volunteer. Gives a sense of pride and helps build connections. Volunteerism is very important and will help lift the community up.

Tom Warren, Director at Kennebec Valley YMCA: continue to encourage a great working relationship/partnership with the city, other non-profits, and community groups.

Deb Violette, President of the Free ME from Lung Cancer, resident: organization installed the first radon system for a family in Bangor. This could be something worth doing in Augusta since many homes do not have this system.

Mark O’Brien, At-large City Councilor: remember that city government also needs volunteers, and has needs that the community could help with. Also, testimonials about the importance of volunteerism could be very impactful in the comp plan.

Adam Turner, owns former St. Mark’s Church: how will the city treat former churches for reuse? Many are historic and there should be incentives to the owners who strive to keep the historical/unique features of the building in tact. Is there a way to offset the financial cost for them to preserve the character of a building on the inside?

Jennifer Fortin, member of Age-Friendly, resident: the age-friendly committee uses many volunteers for its initiatives, such as pathway program and sand buckets. Also, Spectrum Generations provides many great services, such as Meals on Wheels.

Delaine Nye, Planning Board, resident: the city needs one point person for a clearinghouse. CTV7 could be a great resource to consider.

Sammee Quong, member of Age-Friendly, resident: agrees to utilize the TV for public announcements. Also, shared her work to try to bring a community event to the Kennebec River. Working on a “Paddle the River” event scheduled for July 27. Will be a great way to focus on the river.

Committee discussion on volunteerism, churches, and non profit organizations in Augusta, and other related items:

Katie: wants to make sure that all the work we are doing will be respected and used by the city.

Matt: suggested some communities have created an implementation committee after they produced a comp plan to ensure that the recommendations are implemented.

Duane: it is important to also remember that the comp plan and its content can have financial benefit when the city applies for grants. It can help leverage money.

Kim: the committee needs to consider New Mainers in the new plan.

Bob: should we create a subcommittee to work on possible survey questions?

Matt is going to research options for a community survey.

Mel requested a copy of the vision report from the School Department in advance of the next meeting.

Katie: we should consider inviting Gordon Smith to the meeting on public safety. Gordon is the state czar on the opioid crisis.

Justin: the committee might want to consider engaging houses of worship in the public safety forum in light of the recent tragedies at churches around the country and world. Unfortunately, mass gatherings are more and more a target for terrorism.

Kevin requested a list of economic development programs available from the city and state.

Matt will provide this information.

Next meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 8, 2019 at 6pm at Cony High School. The focus of the public hearing will be on schools and education in the community.

Adjourned.

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