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Study Trying To Look At North Country's Present And Plan For Its Future

North Country residents like their woods, their recreation and the sense of community that comes from knowing their neighbors.

But they’ve got a lot of worries ranging from the Northern Pass to excessive development and even over-reliance on the internet, according to a series of hearings conducted by the North Country Council, a regional planning group.

The hearings are part of the statewide Granite State Future project.

Its goal is to develop coordinated, regional master plans that will help improve towns while preserving cherished characteristics.

The last hearing was held Tuesday night in Colebrook.

“This will be a plan specifically for the North Country and we are doing these meetings to find out what kind of future you want for the North Country,” said Tara Bamford, the planning director for the North Country Council.

The Council is trying to find out what residents like about the North Country and what they fear.

After hearings in Plymouth, Haverhill, Albany, Berlin, Littleton and Colebrook here are some comments:

What people like:

* Feeling safe.

* The scenery and wildlife.

*  Recreational opportunities.

* A sense of community from knowing neighbors.

* A spirit of self-reliance.

Concerns include:

* Creating  good jobs and finding a way to provide loans  to nurture local businesses.

* Finding a balance between development and natural beauty.

*Projects such as the Northern Pass and wind farms.

* The fragmentation of large, forest tracts.

* Increasing property taxes putting a burden on families.

* State decision makers “that have ties to industry.”

And, while high-speed internet has been something for which the North Country has yearned for years now that it is available there are some worries: That e-mail will reduce the friendly, face-to-face contact that has been the norm.

There are no more hearings but comments can still be filed by goinghere.

To see comments from the previous hearings go here.

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