The Board of Selectmen Tuesday approved a $40,000 contract with consulting firm Planimetrics to create a 10-year Plan of Conservation and Development.

The state of Connecticut requires the unfunded mandate; the town will not be eligible for various funding if the plan is not completed by June 2014.

The last plan was completed in 2003 and, according to Town Planner Steve Kleppin, will be updated with more concrete suggestions. He said the last plan focused on residential issues, and indicated that the suggestions were more philosophical or theoretical.

"This plan we're trying to make more succinct and actionable," he said at the meeting.

The request had the approval of the Board of Selectmen, though Selectman Beth Jones was only lukewarm to the idea.

"Historically I have not been behind some of these studies, but seeing as how this is required by the state and the reasonable price of this one, I support it," she said, referring to past studies like the Long Range Planning study and the Downtown Market Demand study.

Kleppin said the Planning and Zoning Department would conduct a public "listening session" on March 21 before drafts of the updated plan are begun.

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