Pownal seeking volunteers for new Economic Development Committee

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POWNAL — The town is looking for volunteers to sit on a new committee, aimed at creating "smart growth" in the town.

The Economic Development Committee, as called for in the town plan adopted in May, will act in an advisory capacity to the Select Board on anything having to do with economic issues in town.

The Select Board will decide whether to implement any of the committee's ideas.

Members will be authorized by the Select Board and serve at the board's pleasure, according to a copy of a town announcement seeking volunteers.

Town Administrator Michael Walker brought the idea of the committee to the board within the last two weeks or so, in response to his review of the town plan, he said. The board approved the creation of the committee.

Committee members will serve on a voluntary basis, with an estimated commitment of 10 to 20 hours per month, with monthly meetings, along with site visits, conferences and seminars.

Walker said it's part of his job to move initiatives forward, bringing them to the attention of the board for their consideration.

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"We're trying to do this right, not fast," Walker said of the committee selection process.

He said it's important to make sure members include a good "cross-section" of the town, so everyone has a voice.

Walker will be an ex officio member of the committee — a non-voting member, serving in his official capacity as town administrator. He'll be a resource for the board, doing things like helping with research and writing grants, he said.

He said he hasn't decided what he'll recommended to the Select Board for the number of people on the board — but he said he's leaning toward more people, rather than fewer. That supports the goal of having people with diverse backgrounds and experiences on the committee, he said.

Those wishing to be considered should submit a letter of interest, including personal background and skills, qualifications, education or experience they bring that will benefit the committee and the town. They must reside or conduct business in Pownal.

Letters of interest should be mailed to Michael Walker, town administrator, at P.O. Box 411, 467 Center St.

The Select Board will officially appoint members over the next several weeks.

Patricia LeBoeuf can be reached at pleboeuf@benningtonbanner.com, at @BAN_pleboeuf on Twitter and 802-447-7567, ext. 118.


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