MILLINOCKET -- While only 62 of the 86 handpicked committee members were in attendance, those who were there decided to create a vision for the year 2050, focused on the Katahdin region's greatest asset.
The members of the Katahdin Area Planning Conference, also known as the Vision Group, were chosen from among the residents in Millinocket, East Millinocket, Medway, and Woodville; and for four consecutive Fridays and Saturdays, they will be meeting at Stearns High School to determine a future for the area, moderated and facilitated by Advanced Management Catalysts, Inc. (AMCi), a Wiscasset-based consulting firm.
The tentative vision that was drawn up on the first day of the conference focused on environmental issues, emphasizing the importance of being "responsible stewards" of such natural resources as Mount Katahdin and its surrounding waterways.
In addition, the group has stated a preference for innovative small businesses that "sustain natural and intellectual resources."
The committee is expected to sign off on the plan today.
Matched by state funds, the towns of Millinocket and East Millinocket have hired AMCi to facilitate consolidation and community integration issues in the wake of the Great Northern Paper closure and poor economic conditions, including an unemployment rate in the 30-percentile.