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Marlborough reaches out to generate public input for city’s economic development master plan

Marlborough, MASS. April 6, 2011 – The Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) will host thirteen focus groups on April 13 and 14 as part of its strategy to solicit input for its Economic Development Master Plan from Marlborough residents, business owners and workers. The focus groups will be held at the Massachusetts International Academy at 280 Locke Drive and will be conducted by members of the consulting team headed by FXM Associates, who are assisting MEDC with the preparation of the Master Plan.

The thirteen focus groups, each containing about fifteen to twenty individuals with similar backgrounds and/or interests, were formed under the following headings: 1.Elected Officials; 2. Bankers, Realtors, Developers & Lawyers; 3. Educators, Youth Services & Social Services; 4. Commercial Landlords (Property Owners/Managers); 5.Sports, Tourism, Hotel & Restaurant Operators; 6. High Tech & Life Science Companies; 7. Urban Core Property & Business Owners; 8. Retail Owners, Chamber Officials & Civic Associations; 9. Industrial Business Owners & Managers; 10. Housing Developers, Owners & CDA; 11. Doctors, Nurses, EMTs, Hospitals, Rehab & Nursing Facilities; 12. City Officials; 13. East Side Businesses, Property Owners & Residents.

At the start of each Focus Group session, the consultants will make a brief presentation and then lead a participant discussion of key community issues. As a result of this exercise it is expected that up to 200 individuals who live and/or work in Marlborough will have had the opportunity to give direct input to the consultants. Many well known business leaders including owners of some of the city’s key commercial businesses will be participating as well as many of the City’s political leaders and top local officials.

The next opportunity for the public to have direct input in the Master Planning process will occur in May when the MEDC will host an open Public Forum (a meeting for the exchange of information, opinions and ideas) on Saturday May 21 at the Marlborough Memorial High School gymnasium.  Attendance at the Public Forum is open to the public and it is hoped that about 250 to 300 people turn out to participate.  This Public Forum event will provide the general public an opportunity to hear about the master plan process and offer their opinions and ideas to the consultants, about their vision for the future growth of Marlborough.

Beyond the Focus group meetings and the open Public Forum, the consultants are working on a public survey, which will be available to everyone who either lives or works in Marlborough to offer their input to the Master Planning process.  The objective of the Master Planning process is to produce an Economic Development Strategy which will establish community goals for the future economic development of Marlborough and an Economic Development Action Plan which will identify those actions that will be necessary to ensure that the community’s economic development goals are achieved.