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Area 'a blank palette' of possibilities

Development group exchanges ideas

CDC administrator Trish Settles sets up her PowerPoint presentation Tuesday night. Gus Steeves. (click for larger version)
June 25, 2009
SOUTHBRIDGE — To the almost-new Southern Worcester County Community Development Corp., this region is "a blank palette" in terms of what can be done to improve things.

"With things like global warming, we often see people can cause big problems, but we also have a great capacity to solve them," said Laurent R. McDonald, voicing the general sense of the new group's objective. He compared the situation to "Apollo 13," where "ordinary people doing extraordinary things" brought the nearly stranded astronauts back home alive.

Participants in the group's first Annual Meeting at 12 Crane seemed to focus on two key areas — affordable housing and small business aid, — but several complementary ideas came up, including agricultural promotion, the rail trail, energy conservation and "underground" businesses.

"At this point, having completed the community scan … it will probably be in the area of affordable housing," CDC board member Brian Chandley said. That effort will probably start with providing classes for new homebuyers on how mortgages work and related topics.

See Thursday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage.

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