Friday, March 4, 2011

Back To The Future

Kenneth M. O'Brien

With all the discussion of the need for a plan to improve life in Southbridge, as well as its economy, the potential for employment and the opportunity to start new businesses, I thought that I would re-visit a proposal that I put forward six years ago.

Given developments since the time this was written, revisions would most likely be required.

The Registry of Motor Vehicles is now in the depot location. Given that, any plans to use it as an optical museum are probably scotched.

Rather than the depot location, especially in light of certain geological factors, the Globe area of town would probably be a more feasible location.

There are, of course, those who will pooh-pooh this idea.

But, is it any less feasible than a belief that companies will locate to a half-road accessed industrial park next to the largest landfill in the state?

During the interview process our Town Manager made a big point of his talent at getting grants in his prior position. Perhaps he could use that, to date under-utilized talent, to secure money for a feasibility study. With the projected major reduction in Federal money for Community Development Block Grants it would seem appropriate to direct our Economic Development staff (four now, isn't it?) toward another task.

But, then again, perhaps I'm expecting too much of someone who is paid only a few thousand dollars less than the Governor of the entire state.

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