Hinesburg's Top Five Economic Development Goals
Hinesburg's Economic Development Committee has set five priorities for the town. The group drafted the list of priorities on Dec. 30, making the document feel like a sort of new year's resolution. Here's the top five list:
1. Hinesburg sustains the health of its natural assets to support natural resources based sectors such as agriculture, forestry, recreation, and energy.
Hinesburg’s natural assets should support the overall health, happiness, and economic prosperity of this community. These assets include prime agricultural land, sand and gravel reserves, forests, streams, and ponds. Hinesburg’s natural resources should be utilized to grow wealth for the community in accordance with their best valued use for both current and future generations.
2. Hinesburg is a community with mostly locally owned or controlled businesses.
Locally owned or controlled businesses benefit the community in the four following ways: 1) local control means the proprietor is more likely to spend the dollars earned locally, which pumps up the ‘multiplier effect'; 2) local control means that the people running the business have a big stake in the community and less likely to suddenly move; 3) local control nurtures local culture; 4) the presence of many locally controlled businesses strengthens the local economy (multiplier effect) and other indicators of a strong civic live.
3. Hinesburg is a place where people who work in Hinesburg can afford to live in Hinesburg.
A wide array of housing and employment options will strengthen the vitality of the local economy by creating a diversity of social and economic opportunities. While it is impractical for Hinesburg to create jobs for all residents in town, Hinesburg should strive to provide the range of job and housing options which are attractive for all levels of income, education, work and age.
4. Hinesburg possess the essential infrastructure and support services required to sustain a vibrant business community.
There are a number of essential needs that much be addressed in order to successfully start, run, and grow a business; if these requirements are not in place then Hinesburg will be less attractive to the business community. These essential needs include: 1) municipal infrastructure (sewer, water, public safety, etc.); 2) clear understanding of the development/zoning process; 3) locations appropriately zoned for specific businesses requirements; 4) appropriate and affordable power (3 - phased, natural gas, etc); 5) high speed internet and reliable cell coverage; 6) easy and appropriate transportation access; 7) appropriate office/warehouse space; 8) access to products and services to support a business (copying, computer, office supplies, design); 9) social structure to facilitate networking between local business professionals.
5. Hinesburg has a thriving village center.
A thriving multi-use village center strengthens Hinesburg’s community and public revenue, while increasing conveniences and quality of life. Residents should have the ability to work, live, and engage in commerce in their own village and allow Route 116 to bring people to our village center to bolster economic activity. Village development most beneficial to economic vitality should be welcoming, compact, walkable, provide for a mix of services, include green spaces for public gathering, and provide for public transportation and parking options.
The list is being reviewed by the select board this week.