LINCOLNVILLE — The Select Board has authorized Town Administrator David Kinney to sign a grant agreement with Community Heart & Soul for $10,000.

The town’s Comprehensive Plan Review Committee has partnered with Community Heart & Soul, a national organization, to assist the committee in gathering data to inform the town’s 2024 Comprehensive Plan.

The seed grant, authorized at the board’s Nov. 28 meeting, will help the committee carry out the Community Heart & Soul engagement process. Developed and field-tested over a decade in partnership with over 100 small cities and towns across America, Community Heart & Soul is a proven process for engaging a community in shaping its future.

The Community Heart & Soul initiative will engage Lincolnville residents in discussion about what they love about their town and their vision for the town’s future, and then highlight the common themes that emerge.

The grant will allow the Lincolnville Community Heart & Soul Committee to employ a wide variety of creative outreach strategies to involve the entire community.

“We are so thrilled to receive this grant,” said Susan Silverio, chair of the Comprehensive Plan Review Committee and project coordinator for the Lincolnville Community Heart & Soul. “It allows us to get the process up an running quickly so we can collect as many citizen voices as possible in advance of the Comprehensive Plan update. Our goal is to give the entire community a chance to weigh in on this effort.”

Lincolnville Heart & Soul will span two years, during which a committee of residents will lead the process. The results will inform the town’s Comprehensive Plan Review Committee as it completes the 2024 Comprehensive Plan. The initiative will also provide local leaders with a menu of specific projects for future consideration.

The grant, combined with the town’s funding, offers the group the ability to work with a Community Heart & Soul consultant who will help guide the engagement process.

Cindy Dunham, founding camp director of UMaine 4H Camp and Learning Center at Tanglewood, will chair the project’s steering group.

What I love about this process is that it’s so positive,” Dunham said. “The focus is on identifying areas of agreement among residents, about what they hope Lincolnville can be like in the future, and then developing ideas for moving toward that future.”