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February 26, 2007 Minutes
Town of East Windsor
Economic Development Commission
11 Rye Street, P.O. Box 389
Broad Brook, CT 06016

Regular Meeting (Discussion)
February 26, 2007

I.      ESTABLISHMENT OF QUORUM

Members Present:    Chairman Eric Moffett, Richard Covill, Jim Richards

Members unable       Matt Crossen, Sharon Aprea, Josh Kapelner, Michael Maloney
to attend:              

Also in attendance:   Laurie Whitten, Director of Planning & Development

Visitor:        Jeffrey L. Vose, Vice President & Municipal Services Manager,
        MetroHartford Alliance

                               
A quorum of 4 voting members was not established.

An informal discussion took place with no Motions or Votes.


Chairman Eric Moffett introduced Mr. Jeffrey Vose of the MetroHartford Alliance (MHA).  Mr. Vose distributed some handouts, focusing on “Municipal Services – Programs and services to support economic growth in the Region” (attached). He outlined each highlighted paragraph, detailing the valuable experiences with other towns from assistance by the MHA.  Commissioner Jim Richards questioned whether the MetroHartford Alliance promotes all towns.  Mr. Vose explained that it’s based on needs, working with a site selection organization.  He provided an example of how the Town of Windsor has advantages with pre-permitted sites.  Developers are guaranteed a 90-day approval period.

Commissioner Richard Covill inquired as to what the MetroHartford Alliance can do for the Town of East Windsor.  Mr. Vose discussed the location of town and its transit-oriented opportunities, further citing international prospects with the direct flights to the Netherlands from Bradley Airport.  Commissioner Richards noted the labor force problems with employees from the Hartford area, referring to the lack of return bus service in the evening.  He also explained that the state wouldn’t allow signage on the highway to advertise for business, i.e., hotels, restaurants, etc.  If East Windsor is going to join the MHA, there will need to be justification for becoming a member.  Mr. Vose stated that the town needs to be a regional participant to compete with other towns.  Town Planner Laurie Whitten relayed that the MHA membership was cut out of the budget as a result of the town being overlooked in favor of other towns.  Chairman Moffett brought up the need for infrastructure to attract businesses to the town.  Mr. Vose provided an example of the assistance given to the Town of Tolland.  Commissioner Covill reiterated the need for valid reasons to bring to the Board of Selectman to acquire the money for joining the MHA.  

Mr. Vose stated that the cost of membership for the Town of East Windsor is $2,034.00, based on $20.00 per capita.  For no additional cost, The MHA is working on a regional database that will provide a detailed profile of your town.  The info is provided by the town and input and kept up-to-date by the MHA.  This information is given to site selectors and prospective businesses.  Their goal is to have all towns established with EDDI (Economic Development Data and Information).  Additional reasons for the town to become a member:
the MHA works closely with the Capital Region Council of Governments (CRCOG) to obtain grant money for assessing contaminated sites.   The Growth Fund Loan Program is a low interest loan program to support new and expanding businesses in the community.  The Town will receive a discount to use “Site Finder”, which is an extensive database listing the town’s available development.  The site receives approximately 25 hits per month.

Mr. Vose also outlined the scholarships available to town officials and staff, up to $500 per town.  The MetroHartford will provide a two-hour program on Economic Development for Public Officials, tailored individually for the town.

Commissioner Richards discussed the possibility of having a public forum for the Boards and Commissions with the MHA providing information and knowledge of community economic development.  Mr. Vose described the MHA’s extensive work with New Britain that included a Developer’s Day.

Town Planner Laurie Whitten noted that there was an encumbered budget line item for the EDC of an unknown amount.  She will research it and provide the information to Chairman Moffett for pursuing membership to the MetroHartford Alliance.


        Respectfully submitted,


        Nancy J. Rudek,
Recording Secretary