Community organizations and public agencies can make a significant impact when they increase the frequency, diversity, and level of stakeholder engagement. When done right, community engagement provides stakeholders with a seat at the table and increases the probability that a project will be accepted.
Obtaining effective stakeholder engagement depends upon the tools and techniques you implement. What works in one community, may not be as effective in another. All engagement strategies should ensure equality, transparency, inclusivity, and substance. Success is not inevitable unless you are committed to an evolving strategy.
Through the years, we have worked with a number of communities assisting them in developing community engagement strategies and there is no “one size fits all” plan. We work to create engagement experiences that speak specifically to stakeholders, empowering and integrating individuals from diverse backgrounds. We partner with our clients to create two-way dialogue, increasing transparency and trust.
Capital Strategic Solutions has been working with communities across New England connecting with stakeholders authentically to build momentum around projects, programs and initiatives that will have sustainable results and build stronger communities. From feasibility to design through construction, from complete streets to comprehensive wastewater management; we embrace each project as if we lived in the community in which it will impact.
Most recently, we assisted the Town of Holden educate stakeholders about the Shrewsbury Street Doyle Road Improvement Project. The proposed project consists of improvements to approximately a 1.15-mile section of the Shrewsbury Street Corridor, including portions of Main Street, Holden Street, Chapel Street and Doyle Road. Proposed improvements include the reconstruction of the existing traffic signals at the intersections of Shrewsbury Street with Main Street, and Chapel and Holden Streets, as well as construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Shrewsbury Street with Mount View Drive and Doyle Road. The project is programmed in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program for Federal Fiscal Year 2023.
The project had previously been approved at Town Meeting, however failed to secure the 2/3 vote needed to acquire the necessary easements to successfully obtain the state funding. Feedback gathered by the Town included the request for greater public education about the benefits of the project, including public safety and the impact on the middle school and traffic throughout the area. Having previously partnered on other projects with the Town of Holden, CSS was enthusiastic to assist the Town with their outreach knowing of the improved benefits of the project to the community.
We brought Capital Strategic Solutions into the Shrewsbury Street Doyle Road Transportation Improvement Project to develop an outreach campaign with the purpose of educating the citizens about the project and the funding opportunity for the Town. CSS has been working diligently by our side, engaging community members. Their assistance with this endeavor has allowed us to secure the 2/3 vote needed at our Special Fall Town Meeting for this project move forward
On October 17, 2022, community members voted to authorize the Board of Selectmen to acquired property easements as necessary to complete the project, thus approving the completion of the design of the project and providing approval for the estimated $11 to $12 million state funded project.