Lisbon is launching a survey to identify commercial development opportunities, housing needs and recreational amenities that will benefit the community.

“The market analysis findings will be relevant to entrepreneurs who are looking to identify business opportunities, it will be relevant to folks who have buildable real estate and are looking for the best use for their property,” said Brett Richardson, the town’s economic and development director. “The survey will be informative for those planning to move to Lisbon.”

In September, the town council awarded a bid to The Chesapeake Group, an economic analysis and development firm, to conduct the market analysis in Lisbon.

The first phase of the analysis is to examine regional and local markets for future housing and commercial development opportunities in Lisbon. The second phase is a feasibility analysis of two redevelopment scenarios for the Worumbo Mill site.

The survey is being conducted online and has 57 questions divided into categories like shopping and related spending, demographics, lifestyle, family and organization events, housing and entertainment.

“Those categories are all independent in their own right, but they also collectively paint a picture of what those opportunities are,” said Richardson. “By understanding where people are shopping, how they are eating and what they do for fun, helps us as a community to prioritize investments to meet the market in a positive way.”

Last year, the town conducted a survey, where the residents were asked to pick from three potential development scenarios for the Worumbo Mill site developed by two private firms. However, some residents criticized the survey, as it was completed by 306 people out of 10,000 residents.

So far, 400 people have responded to the revamped survey.

Richardson said the previous survey was specific to the redevelopment of the Worumbo site, but the current survey is somewhat regional to understand the opportunities in the town on a broader level.

Though the survey is specific to Lisbon, the residents of Durham, Sabattus, Auburn, Brunswick, Topsham, and Lewiston are also encouraged to participate.

The consumer habits happen at the regional level, and Lisbon businesses cannot survive on just Lisbon customers. Likewise, Lewiston businesses cannot survive on just Lewiston customers, said Richardson.

“People move throughout the region to get what they need conveniently, so looking at the region helps us be more accurate in terms of how we can anticipate opportunities in Lisbon,” said Richardson. “Encouraging folks who might not live in Lisbon, but who pass through Lisbon — what they shop, where they shop and what they need, helps us understand the regional needs.”

The town’s library Director, Diane Nadeau, said the library is willing to help people access the survey at the library who do not have the internet at their homes. However, no one has specifically come to the library to do the survey, said Nadeau.

The survey is open to the residents until the end of October, and the survey results will be made available to the public by December.

The survey is available at www.worumbo.org.

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