“Over the last two months, the Colchester Selectboard has been holding some productive discussions about economic development. There is a lot of energy and enthusiasm building about the future of this community as articulated in the Heritage Plan, the Colchester Selectboard Presentation, and the Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017. We have laid the groundwork for economic action plan implementation by including funding in our operating budget; we are recruiting for an economic development director who will work in partnership with the business community and other groups to move the initiatives in the action plan into actions; and we have hired a town manager who has experience in—and will dedicate a significant amount of time to—economic development.
“Town staff will also explore grant opportunities and approach community groups such as the CSD (Colchester School District), CCDC (Colchester Community Development Corporation), and CCI (Community Center Initiative) to provide public input as we conduct the necessary infrastructure studies/engineering plans to move forward with initiatives such as the enhancement of Malletts Bay and future development of the former Hazelett/Bayside property owned by the Town.
“We identified at least six different groups that were working on economic development/infrastructure initiatives in our community—CCDC, CEDAC, CCI, the Bayside Redevelopment Study Group, Fire District #2, and the Recreation Advisory Board. Because we believe we run the risk of operating in silos and having miscommunications or duplicated efforts if we don’t all work together, the selectboard has asked the town manager to approach all of these different groups to determine if missions and scopes of work can be better coordinated to ensure we are working together to achieve the community’s vision.
“We are appreciative of the volunteers who work on making Colchester a superb place to live, work, and play. The community needs citizens to continue to serve in advisory and support capacities to build community trust and political will as ideas are translated into actionable items such as reaching consensus on future direction and vision, securing financing, and preparing final engineering plans for various projects to include a possible community center, sewers/storm-sewer improvements, and other enhancements to the Malletts Bay area. We are hopeful that, by working together, we will achieve our community’s top priorities.”
The Town of Colchester seeks input from a variety of stakeholders; all interested citizens are encouraged to share their perspectives and opinions. It is in this way that we will strengthen our community.
If you would like more information, please e-mail Nadine Scibek, or call the Town of Colchester at (802) 264-5500.
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