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CDBG Task Force Minutes 8/31/09
Town of Becket
Task Force on Community Development Strategy
August 31, 2009

Brainstorming Session: List of Ideas
(By agreement, in lieu of Minutes)
LU&GM: Land Use and Growth Management
AF: Affordable Housing
EC: Economic Development (includes Transportation)
NR: Natural Resources
OS&R: Open Space and Recreation
CF&S: Community Facilities and Services
H&HS: Health and Human Services

TB:  The strategy is the plan for development over the next 10 years
        A broad statement type of document
        Can include a lot of ideas, they don’t have to describe a “project”, just a need or desire

MB: Riverwalk; ‘developing and highlighting Becket’s unique location along the Westfield Wild and Scenic River’  LU&GM; NR; OS&R

PC:  ‘Upgrading infrastructure, sidewalks, etc. to improve climate for economic development in the community’ EC

ZJ: Cohesive transportation; connectivity, efficiency… ‘Need for increased efficiency and availability of transportation resources for all groups in Town”. EC

RF: ‘Land acquisition for the future projects’ LU&GM; OS&R; NR; CF&S; AF

BV: ‘Housing – rental, elderly and affordable’ AF; H&HS; CF&S

MB: Access to funds for home improvements

TB: Seasonal homelessness in Becket?

BV:  Several calls per week for rental property

MB: Accessory apartments for elderly and low income residents

TB: Economic development issue: summer rentals do bring revenue into the Town

PC: Small house in village, rents for $1,000-12,000 per month, not even waterfront

RF:  Most waterfront or lake properties are used by owners, not rented out

SS:  Community Center for kids, Friday night dances, and other programs, organization and management

TB:  Has there been any outreach to Railroad street Youths?  ‘Call Railroad Street Youth Project’ CF&S; H&HS; OS&R

MB:  there needs to be a paid position, need lifeguards trained in CPR, swimming programs; need to fully utilize Town’s assets

TB: develop programs that will fully utilize Becket’s resources for youth and all others…  ‘Need for a Community Center space that is available and the programs that will manage the space’ CF&S; H&HS; OS&R

RF:  utilize the Y camp; and other camps in town; exercise programs, preschool and after school programs

ZJ: Art Center staff and local teachers to talk about ways to share resources

TB:  ‘Develop programs that will fully utilize the recreational resources of the Town of Becket for its youth and others’ CF&S; H&HS; OS&R

KK: Ensure that all children have at least one decent meal per day even outside of school
       (Ensure that all citizens have adequate nutrition)

RF:  Be sure that people who actually need it get the assistance

MB: Adopt rigorous nutrition programs in the school that exceed the standard: send kids home with an apple and a sandwich…

KK:  The need here is very quiet but it exists

SS:  Example of West Springfield program that began as Thanksgiving dinner open to all, now feeds 500 people each year, summer programs of bag lunches for latchkey kids

RF:  Church here serves free Friday Night dinners

TB:  ‘to increase & ensure the health of residents of Becket…to create the community infrastructure to increase and ensure the health of the citizens of Becket by providing adequate nutrition on a daily basis’ …excellent CDBG element: hire someone to do outreach, organize food pantry, coordinate effort….marketing and management  CF&S; H&HS

PC:  find someone to write grants (for the above)

JL:  No one single face of business in Becket…Town is not marketing itself

BV: grants to start small businesses in Town

TB:  Hilltown CDC supports small business opportunities
All: Tax accountant, taxi service, dental clinic, ATM, gas station, Hairdressers and nail techs, design professionals, artists

JB:  Business owners do not know each other

RF:  Community calendar lists all businesses

TB: there are 65 businesses in Town
‘Increase development and awareness of opportunities for small businesses in Becket, both existing and prospective’ EC

MB:  Few businesses in Becket are even aware of each other.  During the 70’s and 80’s we launched business association, we had a brochure, with a map of Becket and listed all businesses that were members of the association and their addresses and telephone numbers.  With today’s technology this could be much easier and could be quite useful.

MS: *Top of list is to go for accessory apartments, write zoning by-law to allow these
*Set aside a certain amount of CDBG funds to rehab homes to allow for accessory apartments and to have a system for applying and have it administered  
        *Lower priority would be a senior housing complex, keep on list for succeeding years
       *Should investigate the houses in village that possibly be converted for low income and   senior housing, need basic information

TB: ‘Conduct study of available housing stock that could be converted to affordable/senior housing and a Market Study’…could use this round of the Grant to get funding and then be used justify projects in future years LU&GM, AH; EC; CF&S; H&HS

TB: ‘Develop accessory apartment bylaws and set aside funds to rehab buildings to create accessory apartments’  LU&GM, AH; EC; CF&S; H&HS

MS:  Site Assessments?

TB:  More in the realm of engineering instead of the realm of opinion…. There is site development criteria to be addressed

JL: Civil engineering, site investigation

PM:   Planning Study

TB: ‘Planning component re: assessment of housing stock re: possibility for conversion to affordable/senior housing, and to do a market study of the demand for housing’ LU&GM, AH; EC; CF&S; H&HS

TB: ‘Site investigation for the development of Senior Housing/Community Center”

RF: Any other ideas?

PC: Would work on ideas for the Riverwalk with Meredyth

TB: All agree we are willing to work on this, send list out and then send it to everyone, people can work on before next meeting…please send draft out to whole committee at least the Friday before the meeting

Everybody please respond to all…

MS: Minutes and other document

TB: Framework of a Community Development Strategy…open email correspondence…organized and back before the end of the week.

RF: Pat create unified paragraph for strategic plan and at the same be writing the element of the grant

PM: Make it do double duty

MB: Infrastructure, parking, etc.
RF: we will meet the 14th, on the 14th we can perhaps…
      28th possibly change date or have meeting later that night

MB: stay on same night, and change time to 7pm

All agreed…

Labelle motioned to adjourn, MB seconded.

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