The last visit meeting saw residents voting on what they saw as the most important aspects of their vision for Manchester's future. Among all of the topics, including developing a co-op and improving community transportation, four topics received the most votes: Attracting higher education opportunities, working to become a destination for bicyclists, redeveloping Riverside and opening a Riverwalk, and bringing in more small businesses. "The voting process allowed people to speak not just to issues, but to vote by intensity," said Krohn. "You could put all [given votes] into one issue that you felt passionately about... or you could spread them out."
The Bennington County Regional Commission (BCRC) will be returning on Tuesday with teams of facilitators to help each priority's Task Force, according to Krohn.
"They will be knowledgeable teams with access to resources needed for these projects," he said.
These teams will be made up of a diverse group of people, including those from other towns, content experts, developers and those specializing in facilitating projects, according to Paul Costello, executive director of the Vermont Council on Rural Development.
Despite a focus on these four topics, Krohn emphasized that it doesn't mean that no other topics or visions will be accepted.
"None of this precludes anyone from grabbing another topic," said Krohn. "People are welcome to grab the bull by the horns... there is a wide variety of topics to choose from."
Krohn said that after the last meeting, the wheels are now in motion for projects to begin, and that the next meeting is to help "focus [the town's] energies in a productive manner." There have already even been groups that have signed up to volunteer to begin, or expedite, some of these projects. The meeting will begin with a 30-minute discussion about the big ideas for the town, according to Costello. Then, they will break into four smaller teams, each with leaders that will help guide each team towards their goal.
"They're going to help each group focus on what has already been done, the short term goals, the long term goals, and how they are going to get the resources they need," said Costello.
Costello also said that at this meeting, there will be an announcement of who will be the chairpersons for each team.
Currently, Brian Keefe is serving as the overall chairman for the entire process.
All members of the community are invited to attend the meeting. Both Krohn and Costello made note that especially younger persons in the community are encouraged to attend the meeting and to participate in the process.