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  • Last modified 123 days ago (May 16, 2019)

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Support for economic development group growing

Staff writer

Peabody’s volunteer economic development group in has yet to have its first meeting, but community support is already budding.

“I’ve talked with several business owners about it,” Peabody councilman Jay Gfeller said. “It hasn’t been all of them because I haven’t run into everyone on the street.”

Organizers will settle on a direction for the group during Monday’s 7 p.m. meeting at the city building.

“Some of the good things to address would be looking at our economic strengths and weaknesses, and our place in the county,” Gfeller said.

One of the first tasks should be improving signage around the city, business owner Linda Martinez said.

“It’s important, not only north of town, but south of town,” she said. “That is so important to draw people in.”

Gfeller said the spring weather in Peabody is looking better — which puts people in the mood to become active.

“I think it’s a great time for us to be addressing these things,” he said. “It’s a ‘Tis the season’ kind of thing.”

The group must get things done — as opposed to being a discussion board, Martinez said.

“We want it to be positive,” she said. “That’s why it’s so important for people who are committed to step up.”

Finding funding is important, Martinez said.

“Where are we going to find the money,” she said. “That’s all the process of it, but we have to have a goal to begin with.”

Whether the city has volunteers or paid employees work on economic development, its importance remains the same, Martinez said.

“Somebody who is paid can be more committed, but the people who will show up are going to get things done for Peabody,” she said. “They want to get things started.”

Having a group of volunteers increases the potential of finding locals invested in Peabody, Gfeller said.

“We’ll get that melting pot of ideas,” he said. “It’s things that worked well or didn’t work well here; things that worked well or didn’t in other places. People are invested because they live here.”

Last modified May 16, 2019

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