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February 27, 2006 Minutes
Town of East Windsor
Economic Development Commission
11 Rye Street, P.O. Box 389
Broad Brook, CT 06016
Regular Meeting Minutes
February 27, 2006

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m. at the Town Hall Annex, 25 School Street, Warehouse Point, CT.


I.      ESTABLISHMENT OF QUORUM

Members Present:        Jim Richards, Eric F. Moffett, Jim Richards, Richard Covill,
Matt Crossen

Members unable  Sharon Aprea, Josh Kapelner
to attend:      
                
Also in attendance was Laurie Whitten, Director of Planning & Development       


II.     GENERAL DISCUSSION


·       Meet Your Business Neighbors Dinner (April 27th) - Discussion

Chairman Eric Moffett questioned the success of responses when the business dinner was planned a few months past.  Jim Richards noted that the responses were very sparse, however, it may have been too close to the Holidays, suggesting that the original schedule of October may be more suitable.  

MOTION:  To reschedule the business-neighbor dinner to October, the date to be determined - Covill/Crossen-Unanimous

Mr. Richards commented that the board may want to consider a bi-annual schedule for this event, as it may be more practical for the town, allowing time for additional expansions or new businesses to come to town.  Chairman Moffett suggested the possibility of a subcommittee to work on calling the new and expanded businesses to further encourage attendance.  Jim Richards noted his agreement to develop a subcommittee to re-contact the business owners.  He will cover the mailings and plaques through the Chamber of Commerce.

Discussion entailed with regard to changing the mode of the dinner – appetizers, cocktails and finger foods for a more informal social gathering versus a sit-down dinner.  This would also alleviate the need for the business owners to have to pay for their own dinner.  Rich Covill recommended the setup of a board where all the businesses could leave their business cards and exchange with others.



    Economic Development Commission                                       Page 2
Meeting Minutes of 02-27-06



Chairman Moffett questioned the initial criteria for invitation to these dinners.  It was explained that the purpose is to show goodwill from the town to the business neighbors.  Rich Covill noted the need to reinforce that image that the town wants the businesses to prosper.  It was noted that the original plan for the dinner was for businesses that had expansions only – it was changed to also include new businesses to allow more of the business community.

Discussion continued regarding the Award Certificates for the businesses, and additional possibilities for the dinner, such as:  raffles, door prizes, and beautification contest.  Rich Covill noted a beautification event that took place many years ago.  This one could be a Landscape Beautification Contest.  The certificates would still be distributed for the new and expanded businesses, with a more significant award going to the winner of the beautification contest.   Matt Crossen commented on possible different categories.  Town Planner Laurie Whitten suggested a clarification of the definition of beautification.  The board members agreed to bring thoughts and ideas to the next meeting, along with how to market the dinner so it’s more inviting.  Jim Richards will provide additional details on the costs.
After a brief discussion of other town events and meetings, a date for the dinner was tentatively scheduled for Thursday, October 26th, to be further discussed and confirmed.  

·       Economic Development Issues
Chairman Moffett cited the North Road Sewer project, where the vote was defeated 2 : 1.  He questioned if there were other options.  Town Planner Laurie Whitten stated that she might have additional information regarding the sewer after a meeting later in the week.

Jim Richards noted that the anti-development people came out strong – that the failure of the sewer vote is lack of education and getting the information to the people for discussion and explanation.  Town Planner Laurie Whitten cited the public informational meetings that were held, flyers, press releases.  Eric Moffett suggested round table discussions to address the basic misconceptions – to get members of different commissions to offer educational meetings. Rich Covill suggested that the Tax Assessor might be able to provide tax information, reinforcing the benefit of the North Road sewer.  It was noted that the predominant age range of the voters was 50-64 years old. Ms. Whitten stated that if there was another opportunity for a referendum, and if round-table discussions were held, they should be taped by cable television, advertised in the Reminder and Journal Inquirer, along with getting information to the PTO and school board.

Mr. Richards relayed that people expressed to him the concern of apartments/multi-housing on Route 140.  He raised the question of whether Planning & Zoning could re-zone the area for commercial.  Town Planner Laurie Whitten explained that it’s an incredible task for an already overworked P&Z Commission, further citing that unless there is sewer on North Road, commercial businesses cannot develop.

    Economic Development Commission                                       Page 3
Meeting Minutes of 02-27-06



·       Economic Development Issues  (Continued)

Chairman Moffett asked for suggestions as to what EDC could do to create an educational forum.  Richard Covill recommended working on a letter to all boards and commissions, inviting them to discuss economic development issues and development.  Jim Richards entertained that Planning & Zoning could invite EDC to attend one of their meetings.  Ms. Whitten recommended that the matter be pursued after the moratorium is over.

Marketing Brochure – Chairman Eric Moffett presented samples of a Marketing Brochure that he created if and when the EDC wants to promote the Town.  The Commission members discussed the benefits of the brochure, taking it further with a demographics packet of information when potential property owners call the Chamber of Commerce.  Mr. Moffett noted the need to catalogue available properties.  Jim Richards explained the Chamber of Commerce’s classified property link which can be accessed off the Town’s website.  Mr. Richards may also find out what’s required to put the website address in the Town Newsletter for listings of commercial properties.  Chairman Moffett described three possible avenues for marketing commercial property:  local real estate offices, real estate investment trusts and site selection firms.  A rough estimate of the cost of the brochures is approximately $500 for 150 brochures.  The members discussed possible sponsorship of the brochures by promoting businesses.   Chairman Moffett requested the board members to come back with suggestions and edits for the brochure.

Jim Richards cited the Town’s Community Day to be held on May 13, 2006.  He noted that EDC member Matt Crossen is a sponsor and all other EDC members are invited to get involved.  It will be held at the High School – booths are available.  In addition, the Rotary Club meets every Thursday at 6:30 at LaNotte’s Restaurant; all are welcome to attend the meetings.


III.    APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Richard Covill cited that the last sentence (“A member who is…….. position”) on page 2 of the Minutes, under Election of Officers, was redundant and should be removed.

MOTION:  To approve the minutes of January 23, 2006, with the stated change.  Richards/Crossen-Unanimous


IV.     ADJOURNMENT

MOTION:  To adjourn the meeting at 8:32 p.m.  -  Covill/Richards-Unanimous

        Respectfully submitted,

        Nancy J. Rudek,
Recording Secretary