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Selectmen, Planning Board Discuss Promoting Wrentham

The town Board of Selectmen talked about ways to bring business to Wrentham.

Promoting Wrentham to prospective businesses was a central topic at Tuesday night's Board of Selectmen meeting.

The town Planning Board met with the selectmen as the first step in a larger process.

"Our goal is to communicate, and bring the three boards that can market the town (Selectmen, Planning Board and Economic Development Committee) together," said Selectmen Chairman Joseph Botaish. "We're going to meet with the Economic Development Committee next, and then have a joint meeting."

Town Planner Paige Duncan said she had been discussing ways to improve Wrentham's attractiveness to businesses with Town Administrator William Ketcham.

"The uses listed in our zoning use table are completely out of date," she said. "It's based in the 1970s, so there's stuff about junk yards in there, but nothing on renewable energy."

She said the town should also be looking to overhaul its parking bylaw and be ready in case any business shows interest in the Crosby Valve property.

Selectmen talked about streamlining the town's permitting processes, but Duncan said the Planning Board moves rather expeditiously.

"If someone comes to the board, we work as fast as we can," she said. "There are slower areas, and I think that's where we should focus our attention."

Planning Board member Bob Cohen, though, said redundancies in town efforts could be removed. He noted that drainage issues are handled by three town committees — the Planning Board, the Board of Health and the Conservation Commission.

"Part of the streamlining process could determine what boards do what functions," he said.

The topic of promoting Wrentham was raised by local resident Deirdre Foley earlier in the meeting. She asked what steps the selectmen had taken to market the town.

Botaish said the town was implementing a broad strategy.

"[The Economic Development Committee] has done a survey of townspeople, to see what they want in town," he said. "We have 300 of those filled out."

He said the town would be working with King Philip's business program (DECA) to promote Wrentham.

"It's a fabulous program," he said. "It's won awards, and is very strong."

Botaish said the town would also look at such measures as tax incentives and fast-track permitting.

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