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Freeport launches online 'town hall'

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Freeport launches online 'town hall'

FREEPORT — The town launched a new interactive website with hopes it will engage residents and foster more community discussion about town planning topics.

Freeport Talks is designed to be an online meeting place for residents to discuss town issues, share ideas and vote in polls on topics to gauge town support.

Anyone can join the website and submit ideas for people to discuss on the forum. After an idea is submitted to the forum, people can vote or comment on it. The more votes an idea gets, the higher it rises on the discussion pile.

Most of the current topics reflect issues being discussed by the Town Council: railroad crossing quiet zones, extending natural gas pipelines, and supporting  a grant to build sidewalks that would connect walking routes for schools.

The website also hosts more general ideas, such as, "How can we improve quality of life in Freeport?"

The forum is intended to be another way for people to be involved in town decisions without going to board or council meetings, Town Planner Donna Larson said.

The website is hosted by a company called MindMixer, which operates similar community-planning websites across the country. Freeport is it's first venture in Maine.

For more information or to sign up go to www.freeporttalks.org.

Will Graff can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or wgraff@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @W_C_Graff.