Community Development Strategy (CDS)
What is a Community Development Strategy?
It is a brief document which summarizes various, completed planning studies. The studies help a community reach its goals while the Strategy determines which projects are a priority for that community. These priorities are based on community input, so Town officials know which are more important and thus should be completed before others. Public input during the development of the Strategy is very important to ensure that the projects and priorities agree with what the people in the community desire and need.
The Community Development Strategy is an integral part of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application. The Strategy to be discussed at the next public hearing (scheduled for fall 2017) is specifically for the FY2018 grant application (due 2019). The Strategy also includes projects which will not be funded through the CDBG program; it is meant to serve a broader role than just addressing grant application needs.
How is the Strategy prepared?
The Planning & Community Development staff reviews the Strategy from the previous year, edits and updates the information, and solicits public input on projects not already in the document, as well as the relative importance of the various projects listed. Once public input has been received, the document is reviewed and edited again to reflect the public's voice. An online survey is one method to solicit public opinion. The public hearing process is another venue for people to express their thoughts. Once completed, the Community Development Authority (CDA) will vote to recommend endorsement by the Board of Selectmen, who will then review the document, and either endorse it as written or endorse with modifications if they believe additional changes are warranted to accurately reflect the needs of the community.