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Vision meetings draw a crowd in Freeland

Lucy Kent remembers when there was a push to route the new highway right through the middle of Freeland.

In 1972 the residents and business owners on Main Street made it clear to the county and the state they did not want their community bisected by Highway 525.

Now, 24 years later, Kent and other Freeland residents hope to have a say in future development of Freeland.

On Wednesday, the Vision 2025 committee held the first two of four meetings designed to stimulate discussion and participation in managing Freeland’s future.

Two more meetings will be held; today from 1 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 10 p.m. at Freeland Hall.

Attendance at the first two sessions was about 85 with more people showing up for the afternoon session.

Participants watched an hour-long video about what components build a strong community, and wandered between displays of different topics related to Freeland growth including business development, incorporation, housing, transportation and natural resources.

As expected, key concerns revolved around how to make sure the vision is followed rather than put on a shelf and forgotten.

Several members of the committee, however, said that since an actual plan is not being put together, there won’t be anything to be shelved. 

Mike Dolan and Steve Shapiro, coordinators of the event, were pleased with the first day’s attendance.

“The first day went very well. We had more attendance than we expected,” Dolan said.

“The afternoon group was more balanced and interested on a variety of issues. Most people who attended the evening meeting were asking questions about incorporation and sewers,” he said.

Following the four meetings, volunteer groups will be organized to address the different issues.

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