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Public feedback sought on future development in Narragansett

March 16, 2011

NARRAGANSETT—In December of 2010, Town Manager Grady Miller proposed that the town award a contract for $35,000 to a firm, New Commons, for an economic development study.

The goal is to determine the future direction of the town’s economic development with the goal of expanding the town’s tax base and providing more quality job opportunities for residents.

On March 23 of this year, Narragansett’s townspeople will be invited, from 5 to 8:30 p.m., to the Narragansett Town Hall Assembly Room for snacks and discussion and to provide their thoughts regarding their vision for the future economic development of the township.

The public forums will be interactive, allowing attendees to participate in a dialogue about economic development. The goal is to have a review and adoption of a plan by June 2011. Information about this effort is posted on the town website and flyers will be distributed.

The recession and the changing economy which further shrank small businesses nationwide has left Narragansett with a summer tourist economy buttressed with a student and aging local population. The feeling among the town government is that more could be done with planning.

“We want to make sure we have options for the future,” Miller said.
The hope is that with new regulatory reforms, the town can attract business and broaden its appeal beyond the summer season. Last year, in a statewide effort to shepherd new businesses through the challenges of entering Rhode Island’s regulatory framework, the Assembly passed into law a measure that established an Office of Regulatory Reform whose purpose was to improve and streamline permitting procedures.

“Mr. Stokes believes that the town had tremendous economic potential and could do a better job of determining its own destiny rather than letting it happen on its own,” Grady Miller wrote to the council.

For more information please pick up a copy of The Narragansett Times.

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