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May 15, 2006 Minutes
Town of East Windsor
Economic Development Commission
11 Rye Street, P.O. Box 389
Broad Brook, CT 06016
Regular Meeting Minutes
May 15, 2006

Chairman Moffett called the meeting to order at 7:06 p.m. at the Town Hall Annex, 25 School Street, Warehouse Point, CT.


I.      ESTABLISHMENT OF QUORUM

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

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


II.     GENERAL DISCUSSION

—       Economic Development Issues

Chairman Eric Moffett addressed the commission members noting a need to come up with a strategy to determine what issues the board should focus on.  He distributed a handout that he created listing “Action Items”.  A discussion entailed to determine the priority of these items –

—       Get to Know Your Business Neighbor - The date of this event has been set for
October 26, 2006.  It will be an informal atmosphere, held at LaNotte’ for new and expanded businesses to socialize and network.   

 Landscape Beautification Contest - The discussion debated between having this contest separately and including it with the Business neighbor dinner event.  The commission concurred that including it with the Meet your Business Neighbor may provide more opportunities for attendees, noting that the beautification contest would be an additional award.  Mr. Moffett questioned the best avenue to take for finding out all the business owners and contacting them.  He suggested sending out “save the date” flyers now.  Jim Richards will create a flyer to show the commission at the next meeting.   He further suggested that the informational flyer be placed on the website.  The conclusion was to combine the New/Expanded Business dinner event with the Beautification Contest, to be held on October 26, 2006.  The advertising for the event will include:  Flyers to Business Owners,  Press Releases,  Town Website, and   Town Newsletter.


—       Marketing Brochure - Chairman Moffett asked if any members had thoughts         as to the target audience for the brochure, i.e., local real estate companies, site selection consultants, real estate investment trusts, etc. He discussed different approaches to take for the brochure.  The board members were in agreement to put the brochure on the website as a PDF, making the EDC webpage the storefront to attract an audience.  Mr. Moffett feels the EDC should be getting more use out of their web page.  Jim Richards suggested incorporating onto the webpage, “Ten Reasons Why You Should Move to East Windsor”.  He drafted 6 reasons for the staff to implement on the EDC web page: 1) Close proximity to Bradley Airport, Hartford and Springfield, 2) Lower taxes, 3) Small town atmosphere, 4) Skilled labor pool, 5) Proximity to customers/clients, 6) Excellent business opportunities.  Mr. Moffett questioned the use of an enhanced link on the town's homepage that would be noticeable and entice potential business owners.  The brochure will be edited with copies to go to the other Commissions and for placement on the EDC webpage.  Ms. Whitten will find out the parameters for putting the PDF brochure on the webpage and what it entails to put another EDC link on the town's website.

—       Round Table Discussion/Town Education on Business Development - Chairman
Moffett offered various ideas to reach the citizens regarding the importance of economic development in town.  Possible options include public television and a round-table discussion among boards and commissions.  The priority being to educate the people that business is needed for a tax base.  Matt Crossen suggested that EDC provide information in the Town Newsletter.  Rich Covill recommended meeting with the Board of Education for an economic development forum.  Jim Richards noted that a new principal will be coming in soon and that the superintendent of schools is leaving.  It is a good time to plan a strategy for a round-table discussion with the Board of Ed, along with having it taped for public television.  

—       Cook out/Block party - This topic began at the last meeting as a result of the
development concerns raised by David Monaco, owner of the Broad Brook Centre Shops.  The idea of a cook out was to promote the center of Broad Brook.  Mr. Monaco has not been in contact with the Planning Department to submit any additional plans or text amendments for his proposal.  The subject of a Village Concept was related to Mr. Monaco's proposal and Broad Brook Center.  Town Planner Whitten discussed the undertaking to prepare for Village District regulations.

Mr. Moffett summarized the items that need concentration:  the town website/ marketing brochure; additional emphasis on the EDC web page; EDC representatives to attend other Commission meetings. Ms. Whitten suggested that involvement with Planning & Zoning should take place at their 2nd meeting of the month, which are workshop meetings.  She further recommended waiting until after June, when the Moratorium will be over.

—       Commercial property vacancies - Town Planner Laurie Whitten listed the  current vacancies in the Industrial Park, Craftsman and Newberry Roads. Discussion continued noting potential vacant land on Newberry that is zoned industrial.


—       Agricultural Viability Grant -Ms. Whitten distributed copies of an email letter from CRCOG (Capital Region Council of Governments).  They are preparing an agricultural viability grant application for sustaining agriculture in the region.  They are noting the recognition of agricultural businesses as viable economic development. CRCOG is looking for participation from communities to develop model regulations, in an effort to improve and promote farming success. Ms. Whitten noted that the application is due by May 31st, and they are looking for letters of support from land use and economic development commissions.

MOTION:  To issue a letter from the EDC in support of the regional agricultural grant for sustaining farm viability.                                            Covill/Richards-Unanimous


III.    APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Chairman Moffett recommended clarification concerning David Monaco's comment about the town going downhill, that it was Mr. Monaco's opinion, and not the opinion of the Economic Development Commission.

MOTION:  To approve the minutes of April 17, 2006 with the changes as noted.
                                                                                            Covill/Kapelner-Unanimous


IV.     ADJOURNMENT

MOTION:  To adjourn the meeting at 8:26 p.m.                         Crossen/Richards-Unanimous

        Respectfully submitted,


        Nancy J. Rudek,
Recording Secretary