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September 18, 2006 Minutes
Town of East Windsor
Economic Development Commission
11 Rye Street, P.O. Box 389
Broad Brook, CT 06016
Regular Meeting Minutes
September 18, 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:        Chairman Eric F. Moffett, Richard Covill, Matt Crossen, Josh Kapelner, Michael Maloney

Members unable      Sharon Aprea, Jim Richards
to attend:      
                
Also in attendance was Selectman Ed Filipone.   


II.     GENERAL DISCUSSION

   Economic Development Issues

Chairman Eric Moffett cordially welcomed Michael Maloney, a new member of the Economic Development Commission (EDC).

Property of Showcase Cinemas

Chairman Moffett cited the discussion at the previous meeting regarding the possibility of development at northerly most parking area of Showcase Cinemas that isn't being utilized.  He contacted the person in charge of property management for the Showcase Cinemas.  The property management was unaware that there was potential for additional development.  They were agreeable to consider a proposal, but did not want to openly market the property.  Following up on that, Commission member Richard Covill contacted some chain restaurants, but didn't receive concrete feedback.

New and Expanded Business Networking Event

The event to be held on October 26, 2006 will encompass new and expanded businesses in town, including a landscaping beautification contest. It will be sponsored jointly by the Economic Development Commission and the Chamber of Commerce.  A draft notice of the event and list of applicable businesses was
distributed to the Commission members for their review and comment.  For the benefit of the newer members, Mr. Covill provided some background history of the prior Business Dinner Event held in October 2004.  He further explained the purpose of the event is to welcome new and expanded businesses, to show recognition and appreciation, along with the opportunity for business owners to meet each other. Mr. Covill talked about the diversity of businesses in the town's community.  Given that Commissioner Jim Richards was unable to be present at this meeting, the final details of the event letter, i.e., agenda, time and place, will be coordinated between the Planning Office and Mr. Richards later this week.  Subsequently, the letter will be sent out and advertised in various publications.  

Discussion continued noting the previous business breakfasts that were promoted by the First Selectman Linda Roberts and held at the Town Hall.  The breakfasts provided a different opportunity for business owners to meet informally, exchanging ideas or concerns in a casual atmosphere.  They were held in groups related to their specific business:  auto industry, restaurant/hotel/hospitality, farmers, etc. Commission member Michael Maloney, also a member of the Chamber of Commerce, cited the ongoing business breakfasts and after-hour Thursday events that are sponsored by the Chamber.

An Economic session, "Presentation Pizzazz" will be held at the Northeast Utilities Building in Berlin on October 24, 2006 from 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.  The seminar is sponsored by CEDAS (Connecticut Economic Development Association)--cost is $30.00/person for members of sponsoring organizations.  The registration form was distributed to the EDC members.  Eric Moffett and Richard Covill expressed their desire to attend.

Public Education of Economic Development

Chairman Moffett started the discussion, offering different avenues to provide economic development education to the public—to impart an understanding to of the advantages of economic development. The first action would be to find out the people's needs and concerns.  Mr. Moffett discussed his meeting with John Pica, Chairman of the Board of Education (BOE) with the idea of a joint meeting between the EDC and BOE.  The boards working together would develop awareness to the parents and townspeople that commercial business is imperative to the overall tax base.  One consequence of an increased tax base would be to provide a greater opportunity for new schools.  Chairman Moffett relayed the results of his meeting with John Pica.  Mr. Moffett will be attending this Thursday night's BOE meeting of the Board of Ed to emphasize the benefits of working together to provide economic education to the residents. He welcomed other EDC members to attend Thursday's BOE meeting.  Mr. Moffett anticipates inviting the BOE to an EDC meeting.  Additionally, he suggested that the EDC reach out to other boards and commissions in an effort to be knowledgeable of what's going on in town and understanding the process that would ultimately attract new business to town. Taking the approach of attending other Commission meetings and reporting back would be a valuable tool towards finding out such
things as infrastructure needs to support commercial development.  Mr. Covill
cited the failure of the town vote for the sewer on Route 140, noting the need to educate the community.  He also made reference to the many septic systems that are failing on Route 140, both residential and business. Chapman Properties, who initiated the prospect of sewer installation on North Road that would have benefited the town with public sewers, will now be installing a forced-main sewer for their apartment complex only.  Selectman Ed Filipone discussed the advantages of the EDC becoming pro-active as a group in the future to promote town proposals, such as the previously failed Mill Building and North Road Sewer projects.

Mr. Covill, who is a member of the Municipal Facilities Committee, relayed that the Committee will be providing a recommendation at Tuesday’s Board of Selectmen meeting.

Chairman Eric Moffett reiterated the need for an Educational Forum--to educate the citizens on planned growth.  The forum could encompass representatives from all town boards to be taped for public television.  To get to that step, the EDC needs to find out if other boards and commissions are supportive of this endeavor.  Commissioner Michael Maloney agreed that the most effective approach to better educate the community is to branch out to other boards and commissions.  Each board touches the community in a different aspect.

Town Newsletter

The recently published Town Newsletter was distributed to the Commission members, in which the EDC has an informational publication. The Newsletter is a quarterly insert in "The Reminder Newspaper". Discussion entailed noting that most of the business advertisers were from out of town. Matt Crossen stated that his business was contacted about advertising in the newsletter.  The representative said they would be back in touch with him, however, he hadn't heard from them again.  Richard Covill suggested that he could call The Reminder to inquire about the procedure for soliciting town businesses to advertise in the newsletter.  

The Commission members and Selectman Ed Filipone discussed the recently revised Town Charter.  Mr. Filipone noted that a significant proposal of the revised Charter involves a change of government, which, if adopted would mean a Town Manager as the CEO of the town, however, there would still be a Board of Selectmen. The Commission talked about how this will affect the voters, considering that there are many other changes to the Charter.  Mr. Covill questioned how to get factual information out to the voters. The Charter Revision, in its entirety, will be voted on in November.

Mr. Covill stated that the EDC needs to focus their energies on the upcoming New and Expanded Business Event.  He suggested that the EDC members promote attendance by putting in an effort to visit some companies and personally invite them.  Mr. Maloney stated that the Chamber of Commerce might have a book that lists all the businesses in town.


III.    APPROVAL OF MINUTES

MOTION:  To approve the Regular Meeting Minutes of July 17, 2006.
                                                          Kapelner/Covill-Unanimous
                                                                                                 


IV.     ADJOURNMENT

MOTION:  To adjourn the meeting at 8:28 p.m.  
                                                        Crossen/Kapelner-Unanimous



        Respectfully submitted,


        Nancy J. Rudek,
Recording Secretary