Consolidation recommended for Hanover Comprehensive Plan

HANOVER – Population loss inspired one Hanover Planning Board member to advocate for consolidation plans to be put into the townwide comprehensive plan.

The Hanover Planning Board has been tasked with updating the town’s 14-year-old comprehensive plan. This includes census information as well as suggestions and goals for the future development of the town.

Peter Gibson, after seeing a 15-20 percent decrease in population in the town in the past 20 years, said the board needs to consider including suggestions for consolidation of services in the new plan.

He said after speaking with his brother, who did statistical analysis and research for the census bureau, that opportunity, family and good schools are the top three things that draw people to an area.

“We need to look at the school districts in the town to see if there are ways they can improve,” he said.

He added they need to look at ways to fix the problem of population decline.

“We need to think about consolidating services, … eliminating some of the bureaucracy. If we keep losing population, we have got to make changes. If it is not working, we have to find a way to make it work,” he said

Fellow board member Ron Brennan said he agrees the town and school boards should work together, but that consolidation can be tricky.

“You need to get people behind you to do that,” he advised.

The board also discussed dividing up parts of the old comprehensive plan to update.

Gibson said the board needs census information and other data before it can make decisions going forward.

Chairwoman Carol DePasquale recommended the board meet with the Silver Creek Planning Board. Gibson said it should also meet with the zoning board and Floodplain Manager Thomas Gould for their input. Brennan said the board should work out what it needs to do before bringing in other entities.

The board will meet March 17 at 7 p.m. in the town hall. There will be a public hearing on a proposed subdivision on King Street at 7:30 p.m.