Of­fi­cials and boat-re­lated busi­ness own­ers to meet

The Day - - REGION - By JOE WOJTAS Day Staff Writer

Ston­ing­ton — The Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion and the town’s Plan­ning De­part­ment will meet with the own­ers of mari­nas and ma­rine-re­lated busi­nesses on Thurs­day af­ter­noon to see how the town can as­sist them.

The so called “com­mu­nity con­ver­sa­tion” is sched­uled for 3 p.m. at the La Grua Cen­ter in the bor­ough. More than 40 mari­nas or boat-re­lated busi­nesses have been in­vited to at­tend. The com­mis­sion and plan­ning staff are look­ing for sug­ges­tions from the busi­ness own­ers about how to make the lo­cal in­dus­try as suc­cess­ful as pos­si­ble.

Di­rec­tor of Plan­ning Ja­son Vin­cent pointed out the town’s Plan of Con­ser­va­tion and De­vel­op­ment rec­og­nizes mari­nas as an im­por­tant eco­nomic driver in town and rec­om­mends in­ves­ti­gat­ing changes needed to as­sist this unique sec­tor of the town’s econ­omy.

He said the forum will help town of­fi­cials un­der­stand the un­der­ly­ing is­sues fac­ing the busi­nesses and whether there are any lo­cal bar­ri­ers to suc­cess and how to ad­dress them.

The forum fol­lows oth­ers in Paw­catuck and Old Mys­tic, which asked res­i­dents and busi­nesses own­ers about what is­sues they are con­cerned about.

The fo­rums in Paw­catuck led to zon­ing changes de­signed to en­cour­age more busi­ness de­vel­op­ment in the down­town and va­cant mill space.

“We’re get­ting into the habit of talk­ing to peo­ple about what they are con­cerned about in­stead of as­sum­ing what they are con­cerned about,” Vin­cent said.

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