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Time to call in a professional?


Sturbridge considers an economic deveolpment director


January 25, 2010
STURBRIDGE — There are a lot of plans in the works right now in Sturbridge.

The Master Plan and the Commercial Tourist District Revitalization Plan, for example, are two of the larger undertakings by the town's Planning Department in recent months. These plans share many interconnected aspects relating to quality of life, public safety, downtown accessibility and things of that nature. One point in both of these plans that is essential to their success is the need to bring more businesses into town.

Additional commerce, which may include retail, industrial or technological entities would, in the long run, help reduce residential taxes, by creating additional sources of revenue to the town in the form of taxes — and sometimes, taxable products or services — and water and sewer fees.

Some businesses however, may not be the best fit for Sturbridge. A restaurant or retail outlet with prices far exceeding the disposable income of the surrounding population would not survive. A commercial entity that required an inordinate amount of attention from police may end up costing the town money in services.

So with all the thought that has go into what the majority of people in town agree is a necessity, whose job is it to figure out what businesses are best for Sturbridge, or where they would be most strategically located? Ideally: an economic development professional.

See Wednesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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