The Town of Dryden Planning Board will be holding a special meeting to interview the finalists for the consultant position to assist the Town Council in the revision of the town’s comprehensive plan at 4 p.m. on July 31 at the town hall. The Planning Board received applications from six consultants and have narrowed the list down to the top three.
Director of Planning Ray Burger said all three firms will have the opportunity to present their pitch to the Planning Board for why they should be hired. Each firm will meet and speak with the Planning Board for 45 minutes, which includes a period in which the board will ask questions regarding each of the consultants’ candidacies. Following the 45-minute interview, the Planning Board will take 15 minutes to review and discuss what they heard from each consultants’ presentation and their responses to the board’s questions.
“At the end of the hour, there will be a debrief on what we heard,” Burger said. “By seven o’ clock we should have heard from all three teams, and hopefully we can have a decision that night to make a recommendation to the Town Board.”
The meeting is open to the public, though the Planning Board may decide to enter into executive session following the interviews to discuss which consultant it should recommend to the Town Council.
The board agreed to keep the maximum number of post-presentation questions to seven per applicant. Planning Board member Martin Hatch said he is interested in seeing which of the three finalists will be willing to involve the perspectives of the Planning Board and the community.
“What’s really crucial from my perspective is how committed they are to being engaged with us frequently and the community at the meetings,” Hatch said. “The couple of ones we tossed out didn’t seem to be committed to that as we would really want.”
The town is seeking a consultant to help the Town Council update multiple sections of the comprehensive plan. According to the request for proposal of the update to the plan issued on May 31, the first chapter would be updated to include summaries of the following planning documents: the 2005 Comprehensive Plan including the Varna Community Development Plan, 2018 Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan, 2011 Recreation Master Plan, 2003 Open Space Inventory, 2017 Natural Resources Conservation Plan, 2015 Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan that includes Dryden, 2008 Route 13/366 Corridor Management Plan and its current update and the 2017 Town of Dryden Water and Sewer District Consolidation Study.
The consultant hired to update the plan will also need to construct and perform a “comprehensive survey and public outreach program” that includes a “survey of all Dryden residents and at least three community workshops located and different locations in the town.” The information collected from the survey and workshops will be used towards the amending of the goals and objectives outlined in the third chapter of the plan.
According to the request for proposal, the survey and workshops will highlight the following subjects:
“A vision statement and goals and objectives for the revised plan,” “a new topic in the plan covering climate change and energy and how Dryden residents want their local government to participate in topics such as climate change mitigation and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” and “an evaluation of whether the goals and objectives identified in the 2005 Comprehensive Plan are still relevant and the degree to which they have been accomplished.”
The consultant would also have to provide analysis and recommendations on the goals and objectives from the 2005 Comprehensive Plan as well as any new goals and objectives that may develop.