At the Council’s most recent meeting on March 16, Ken gave an update on a series of issues in the town of Essex, including a proposed moratorium on changes of use from residential to commercial to be considered at the annual town meeting. He also reported that the Chamber continues to provide weekly COVID-19 business and community updates in Soundings and that we are closely monitoring and sharing updates on the state’s vaccine distribution planning and implementation.
In other business, Council member Carl Gustin reported on CATA’s “Last Mile” program slated to begin at the end of April. The Council agreed to invite CATA administrator Felicia Webb to attend the April meeting to provide further information about the program, including the possibility of making on-demand van rides available to the general public, including visitors. Economic updates were shared from each of community as planned businesses reopenings, proposed 40B Project in Manchester, and the public safety situation in Rockport.
The Council heard a special presentation from leaders of the Gloucester Cultural and Civic Center non-profit organization about their concept for development of the I4C2 property as a multi-faceted cultural and civic center envisioned as the Gloucester Forum.
The Council also reviewed first quarter Division Meetings and the annual Economic Outlook Forum which was held on March 9. The Spring Cape Ann Caucus, the semi-annual meeting with Cape Ann’s state and local government officials, was held on March 26 via Zoom, and had about 35 in attendance, including Senator Bruce Tarr and Representative Brad Hill.
The Government Affairs Council leads the Chamber’s focus on economic development and public policy, one of our key platforms. This Council meets on the second Tuesday of each month from 7:30 to 9 AM, and participation is open to any Chamber member with an interest in being engaged with our state and local government and helping foster a vibrant Cape Ann economy. Currently, those who are part of our monthly meetings include representatives from Cape Ann’s industrial, tourism, government, real estate, legal, non-profit and services sectors. To learn more or join in these meetings, please contact Ken or me. Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 13.
Chair, Government Affairs Council
Scott Energy Company