ECO-DEV Minutes

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Meeting Date: 
August 31, 2016

ECO-DEV Leadership Team

August 31, 2016 Minutes

Present: Jennifer Beck, Harry Dailey, Dan Donovan, Chris Devine, Jackie Kahle, Dick Putnam, Nancy Clark, From UNH: Andre Garron, Sharon Cowen, William Maddocks

6:00 Call to order, approved Aug 24 minutes, approved business letter text with one change, add business community to closing sentence. Date it Sept 16, 2016. Reviewed operating practices, finalized business survey list (114 businesses) and assigned team members to some of those where a relationship already exists:

Granite State Forestry - Dan

Greeley Farms - Nancy

Quinn Brothers - Dan

Bruce Heck - Harry

Bragdon - Dan

E.B. Frye - Jackie

Souhegan Wood - Dick

General Machine - Putt

Burbak - Dan

Perdix - Dick

House by the Side - Dan

Sussie-Rose - Chris

Here Today - Jackie

Oak Leaves - Dan

Falk Fine Woodworking - Dan

LA Limo - Jackie

Wilton Town Hall Theatre - Nancy

Curtis Farm - Dick

Joan Lamire - Chris

Keefe and Keefe - Harry

LDJ Bookkeeping - Harry

Monadnock Survey - Chris

Wilton Animal Hos - Nancy

Powers Carpet Cleaning - Harry

Richard Roy - Jackie

WHOP - Chris

Oliver’s - Nancy

Nelson Funeral – Dick

6:45 Reviewed the edited survey tool and approved.

Dick agreed to test the survey with JB next week to understand clarity and timing before training sessions.

7:15 – Reviewed volunteer sources and made assignments for the team to contact and aggressively recruit members:

Wilton SWOT Survey – JB and Jackie

Students – Harry

Community Center – JB
Churches – Chris

WMSA – JB

Legion – JB

Firefighters – Dan

Masons – Dan

Lyon’s Club – Dick

Heritage Commission/Historical Society – Nancy

Edited training times. Currently:
Sept 13 – 9-11AM Wilton Fire Station CR

Sept 15 5-7PM Wilton Fire Station CR

We have 18 volunteers signed up to date from news articles before recruiting. All contacts should email jenniferscottbeck@gmail.com.

We need 250 copies of the survey tool which is 27 pages 2-sided. Suggestion was to have Tina’s bank or Harry’s connections at Staples do the print run. We need these copies by Sept 13.

7:30 – Dismissed UNH representatives. Open discussion with team and taskforce members about the following focus areas:

  • Partnering with the Planning Board and ZBA, Harry will set a date to get on their agenda.
  • Exploring open space economic zones – Jackie to explore application process with Scott Butcher.
  •  Tax incentives for opening commercial businesses.
  • Marketing strategy for attracting new businesses… team agreed we will define the diverse industries that would help the tax base and preserve the rural character of the town.
  • Concerns were voiced about current ordinances in the commercial district that are allowing residential development in our downtown main street corridor and that site plan approvals and sign ordinances, etc.  are overly cumbersome and discouraging commercial enterprises from moving to, or even within, Wilton.  We’ll await confirmation and more detail based on the data we’re gathering through the BR&E business survey. The SWOT survey uncovered a deep dissatisfaction with the fate of the Roam Café going to a private residence and a concern that more residential development of our finite downtown properties would compromise any attempts to create a downtown destination for all citizens that provided for basic needs like convenience grocery shopping, a café of coffee shop, or a pub.
  • Decision was made to assemble the open real estate inventory for all of Wilton.
  • The bank building has been vacant for 9 years and still has a 4-year lease. JB has talked with the broker at Atlantic Retail and asked for the name of the owner, apparently a dis-interested third part investment firm that doesn’t value the building site. There’s a possibility they will be interested in conveying that property at very low cost to an interested party. Ideas were discussed about taking the building back to its architectural bones and developing small retail establishments within the open structure which would mean no dumpsters, propane tanks, etc. Another idea is the building is already well set up to be another shared office workspace and small café. This could also be the entrepreneurial incubator site discussed previously. A place that provides basic office space and services to support digital start-ups.
  • Questions about additional small lodging within town borders was raised to accommodate visitors to our schools and tourists during skiing and autumn leaf seasons.

Team agreed these were the type of decisions that would best serve the town’s residents. We will now have a standing agenda item to leave room for reviewing what other towns have done and bringing new ideas to the table for decision. The public is welcome and encouraged to bring their ideas forward in this open forum or email items to jenniferscottbeck@gmail.com.

8:00 Adjourn