Economic groups update vision for Scarborough

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SCARBOROUGH — A three-year working document outlining a long-term plan for economic development will soon return to town councilors with new details.

The plan will ensure that “Scarborough will be a community known as a great place to live, work, do business, play and vacation,” according to a memo distributed to councilors.

The Vision,” was presented to councilors Monday for the first time in two years, when a group representing the Scarborough Economic Development Corp. and the Scarborough Community Chamber of Commerce presented its initial guide.

On Wednesday, members of the vision committee met with councilors to present the updated plan, which they hope can be given a formal nod of approval from the town.

In 2009, the group presented 10 visions, such as marketing Scarborough to potential businesses and residents, making the town a leader in green policies and practice, investing in education, keeping the “cost of doing business” in the town reasonable and ensuring a fair, consistent and timely planning and development process.

Each vision had a set of goals listed that are necessary for it to be realized. For example, “Regional Cooperation” included the town’s participation in the Greater Portland Economic Development Corp. and marketing biotech regionally to attract new businesses.

Since then, “The Vision” has been updated to include detailed “implementation steps” to achieve the goals set forth in the earlier document. The boards of SEDCO and the chamber also have formally adopted the vision, including the new implementation steps.

“None of these vision statements are controversial,” said Jim Damicis, a board member of SEDCO and volunteer on the vision committee. Damicis is senior vice president of Scarborough-based Camoin Associates, an economic and community development consultant.

“Scarborough has a lot of the same values now that its had for 20, 30 years or more,” he said.

Damicis and others said “The Vision” is meant to supplement, not replace, other guiding documents for Scarborough, such as the town’s Comprehensive Plan.

He also said the committee that developed the vision would continue to meet and brainstorm, and said he hoped the council would accept it as a partner in implementing the development plan.

“We envision working with other bodies in the town, offering services,” Damicis said.

Council Chairwoman Judith Roy was quick to insist that if “The Vision” is to be adopted by the Town Council, it couldn’t hold the town hostage to spending money or taking any action.

“These have to be strategies, not actions,” she said. “Actions mean money.”

Town Manager Tom Hall said language would be drafted so that if the council did endorse the guide, the town would not be obligated to anything.

Mario Moretto can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or mmoretto@theforecaster.net. Follow Mario on Twitter: @riocarmine.

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