Borough holding economic development forum

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Mayor Robert Mezzo and the Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation are hosting a community forum Wednesday at the Naugatuck Historical Society Museum to discuss economic development issues.

NAUGATUCK — The Renaissance Place downtown revitalization agreement may be dead, but Mayor Robert Mezzo and the Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation still have plenty to tell residents about economic development in the borough.

They will hold a community forum Wednesday to discuss the climate for growth and possibilities for development in the borough’s downtown, commercial corridors and manufacturing sector.

The forum will run from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Naugatuck Historical Society Museum, 195 Water St.

“We felt it would be appropriate to offer the general public the opportunity to learn a little bit, and maybe we learn a little bit about their ideas and aspirations for the community,” Mezzo said.

Mark Waterhouse, president of Garnet Consulting Services, will discuss development in the current economy. Tom Hill III, of Tom Hill Realty & Investment, will discuss the local commercial real estate market. Dave Prendergast, CEO of the NEDC, will talk about things the borough is doing to increase economic development before a question-and-answer session.

In preparation for the now-defunct Renaissance Place project, the borough completed many plans, environmental tests and zoning changes that can be applied to future revitalization efforts, officials have said. Manufacturing companies expanding in the borough through the state’s Enterprise Zone program will likely be discussed, as well as a proposed non-manufacturing tax incentive the Board of Mayor and Burgesses will consider next month, Mezzo said.

Mezzo said he hoped the forum would help officials and residents renew conversations about development as country pulls out of recession.

“I can’t think of many more issues that will define our community over the next generation as those involving economic development,” Mezzo said.