August 6, 2010

'Move Derry Forward' committee in motion

Union Leader Correspondent
DERRY – Pooling creative and practical resources is the idea behind Move Derry Forward, a short-term committee in motion being formed to brainstorm and troubleshoot a short list of set goals.
Like a SWAT team for economic development, the committee will include members from existing boards or committees already working toward some aspect of economic development, as well as business and community leaders, even residents, if they want to contribute.
Councilor Joel Olbricht has been tasked with leading the charge and mapping a plan, which he unveiled during Tuesday's Council meeting.
Letters of invitation to join the committee are supposed to be out by August 15, however, the list of members is yet to be compiled.
Some discussion over how to select members was raised during Tuesday's meeting by Councilor Janet Fairbanks, who wondered if an announcement might go out on the town's community cable channel.
Olbricht explained that the Town Administrator is the only manager on the committee. Otherwise, they are specifically looking for representatives from: the town's planning board; Chamber of Commerce; Derry Downtown Committee; Housing and Redevelopment Authority; Derry Cooperative School Board; Pinkerton Academy; Friends of the Farmer's Market; New Hampshire Planning Commission; Rockingham Economic Development Corporation; and Parkland Medical Center.
Beyond that, the committee will tap local religious leaders, service organizations and business owners, said Stu Arnett, who is under contract with the town to assist with economic development projects.
There's not a limit to the number of people who can be involved – more is better,” said Arnett.
The group will meet three times with a specific agenda as shepherded by the council, which has oversight to the projects that make the final cut. They are scheduled for Sept. 16; Oct. 21; and Nov. 18,to be held at Parkland Medical Center.
Three primary goals of the committee are:

  • Moving forward on TIF district properties in the northern sector of the site and complete the project so that it can be revenue neutral within 36 months; see that construction for the project begins on time, September of 2011

  • Make progress with development of the Downtown, as designated by the Central Business District zoning map, looking at all possibilities and funding sources, with a target of raising tax revenue by $2.5 million

  • Consider staffing and funding options for overseeing future townwide economic development
Progress of the committee will be reported during regular council meetings, said Olbricht.

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