At Issue, Regional Economic Development, Rail Yards, Wastewater Facilities and Business Development.
Meets with Secretaries Richard Davey, Greg Bialecki, and Rick Sullivan.
Chamber Chairman, Peter Neville, CEO of Concord Foods and Chamber President, Christopher Cooney led discussions with top Massachusetts leaders to move critical issues forward. Secretary Richard Davey, Transportation, heard concerns about making better use of the 30 acre CSX rail yard that lies dormant in the center of Brockton. The site is a tremendous regional asset that could provide greater access to rail transportation for goods handled by area businesses. The group also discussed, better maintenance, promotion and use of state highway route 24, the Main Street for the Metro South region.
Neville, Cooney, and Pat Ciaramella of Old Colony Planning Council met with Secretary Rick Sullivan, DEP, to open up access to the Brockton Advanced Water Reclamation Facility for the benefit of the entire region. The facility recently received a one hundred million dollar renovation and is better equipped to serve the region as a result. Representatives of Easton, Avon, West Bridgewater and Brockton attended the meeting. Abington, Whitman, East Bridgewater and Stoughton are also considered as potential interested parties. An emphasis on providing greater sewer capacity to businesses and industrial park areas was the focus of the meeting.
Cooney met with Secretary Greg Bialecki, Economic Development, to stress the importance of Brockton as a Gateway City. He specifically mentioned the rail yards, route 24, sewer capacity and water supply with an emphasis on regional thinking and action to improve the entire area. Secretary Bialecki was extremely helpful and has agreed to support regional thinking on improving these areas. Cooney serves on the Secretary’s Small Business Round Table Council where topics like these can be further pursued. The Chamber recently received a renewed state designation as one of a dozen Regional Economic Development Organizations. Along with the designation, financial resources have been received to engage leaders and execute plans beneficial to fostering business development and growth in the Metro South Region.
The Chamber is also testifying before city and town officials in favor of attractive commercial tax rates in communities that set a higher commercial tax rate than taxes on residential properties. Avon and Brockton businesses want to remind Selectmen and City Councilors of the jobs and added benefits businesses bring to a community. A strong business base provides added value to support city and town operations. Increasing Tax rates above $30. per $1,000. on businesses can cause them to look elsewhere. Half of the Metro South Communities offer a lower unified tax rate that can save businesses tens of thousands of dollars on their tax bill by moving a few miles to another town. The Chamber urges the approval of a tax rate that attracts businesses that provide jobs and revenue for the community. The Chamber advocates for a commercial tax rate under $30. per $1,000. in Avon and Brockton where both communities are just below that level now.