BEACON FALLS — Officials have decided to hold off on hiring an economic development consultant.
The town budgeted $10,000 this fiscal year to hire a part-time consultant to work with the Economic Development Commission to help attract businesses to town. The town received two applications for the position.
The Board of Selectmen at first decided to move ahead with interviewing the two candidates. The board withdrew the job offer, for the time being, after speaking with the commission, First Selectman Christopher Bielik said.
Economic Development Commission Chairman Jeremy Rodorigo said the commission decided that a $10,000 salary was not enough money to attract a large pool of candidates.
“I think this position is important. It’s a big step in bringing Beacon Falls to where it needs to be in terms of economic development. For $10,000 the pool of applicants won’t be wide,” Rodorigo said.
Bielik said the commission recommended the town look into what similar municipalities have and what they pay people with a similar job.
“We were flying a little blind right now figuring out how to do it. We didn’t think it would be the best use of funds to continue to pursue it with such a small applicant pool,” Bielik said.
After finding out what other municipalities pay and what Beacon Falls can afford, the position’s salary will be adjusted for the 2015-16 budget, Bielik said.
“I don’t have what I think is enough data right now to accurately decide the level of funding to go into it. Certainly I think it would be more than $10,000,” Bielik said.
The $10,000 budgeted for the consultant will now go to the commission to promote the town and pay for marketing materials, according to Rodorigo.
Rodorigo said the commission is still working hard to increase economic development in Beacon Falls.
“Certainly it’s not the outcome we wanted,” Rodorigo said. “The reason we wanted to hire a consultant is we wanted somebody who can help promote the town and bring businesses to Beacon Falls. My commissioners do a great job but we also have full-time jobs and families and can’t dedicate the time and energy that a consultant could. We will do everything we can as a volunteer commission to move the town forward as needed.”