March 29, 2020

Hampden works to inform residents

HAMPDEN – The town’s communication committee has been laboring for more than a year to better inform residents of town events and business.

This Saturday, the group will host Hampden Highlights Day from 9 a.m. to noon in the community room of the town office.

The recreation department will provide activities for children, while tours will be available of the public safety building, the Lura E. Hoit Memorial Pool and the new playground facility, said Councilor Matt Arnett, chairman of the committee.

“The communications committee is trying to give publicity to newcomers and also people who have been around for a long time, who are looking for friendships and ideas on how to get involved in the community,” Arnett said.

The committee has been working to distribute a town newsletter, use the public access cable television channel, spur community involvement and update the town’s Web site.

The first edition of the newsletter Hampden Highlights was published about a year ago and is mailed to residents quarterly, Arnett said. The publication can range from four to 12 pages and highlights town activities and events.

The group also wants to update the town’s Web site, but probably will not attain this goal until spring, Arnett said.

Residents may have seen a change in the public access cable channel, since the committee began broadcasting council meetings in June, and started showcasing videos of special town events such as Hampden Children’s Day in August.

“The communications committee has certainly set an ambitious agenda for finding ways to engage and involve residents of Hampden,” Town Manager Susan Lessard said.

Saturday’s event is meant to invite all families to interact with town civic organizations, but it’s an opportunity for everyone to meet their neighbors, Arnett said.

He also mentioned the committee has established a “welcome wagon,” where townspeople greet new families with information about the town and local merchants.

“We want townspeople to suggest areas for business and economic growth, and to feel like they have a voice in public interests,” Arnett said. “We all still have a chance to shape how the town will end up.”

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