Last Thursday, CERC (Connecticut Economic Resource Center) held a workshop in the Center on Main to provide basic information in creating transformational economic development for our village.  This was primarily for training purposes for town government and the larger community-based organizations such as the D. M. Hunt Library, Historical Society, Fire Department and Ambulance.

The meeting was well attended and quite informative.  The information shared by CERC and Main Street Connecticut will help us to form a basis for a community-wide discussion about the strategic goals that we feel are important to pursue to achieve long-term sustainability and growth for our village.  Our intention is to hold two initial meetings to discuss our goals with the town at large.  These forums are tentatively scheduled for the night of September 13th and the morning of September 14th.  Our vision is that these meetings, will have short presentations on the demographics of our town, three separate big goals, and group break-outs to foster communication with all of us.  There will be ample time for questions and comments.

Over time, our government has done a good job of identifying issues that face our town, like an aging population, affordability of our town from the prospective of our young, an under-utilized town center.  Now is the time that we have to begin seriously implementing plans to help alleviate these issues.  We have to do so in a way that doesn’t change the basic character of this town and to make sure that a large majority of our town is supportive of the direction in which we think we should go. 

Consequently, our desire is that we get substantial input from our residents and the forums will be set up in a way that will allow this to happen.  More details of the exact time and place of these meetings will follow.

On Sunday, we had a fantastic Car Show.  Attendance was high, the village looked like we had 5,000 residents, and a good time was had by all.  Special kudos to the Falls Village Volunteer Fire Department, our public works employees and the Jacobs, who organize and run the whole program.  Over time, this event has raised almost $40,000 for our volunteer fire and ambulance services.  Further, the number of positive comments about our town made by visitors is encouraging.  It shows that we have something special in our town and that is something to build on.

Driving around the town center’s various streets on Monday morning, the only evidence that the show took place were the various porta-potties that were awaiting pick-up and some tents on the town green.  That is a real testament to the spirit of volunteerism in this town.

On a final note, I’m taking a little time off and visiting my son in France.  I will be in daily contact with the office via e-mail and the phone but you won’t see my car in front of Town Hall for a couple of weeks.  Enjoy the summer.  It doesn’t last that long.