Dalton Selectman Boyle Proposes Merger of Development Panels
DALTON, Mass. — Selectman John Boyle on Wednesday proposed a merger of the Dalton Redevelopment Authority and the Development/Industrial Commission.
In a joint meeting between the panels, Boyle, who is the chair of both, reported that he is considering disbanding the DDIC and enlarging the membership of the DRA.
He said this would have the benefit of covering all members under the DRA's insurance policy and relieving inactive members of the DDIC who have not been responsive.
"There's a DRA, Dalton Redevelopment Authority with five charter members, then there's the DDIC who we co-meet with, some of you are present, some are on the DDIC, some are on the DRA," Boyle said.
"And because we've had a real lack of attendance by some members over the past two or three years, and there are circumstances but there are some people that just haven't been responsive to anything, haven't even tried to participate, and have ignored us, ignored their obligation for at least two or three years, I'm thinking of maybe combining the two boards together enlarging the membership in the DRA."
He does not know the legalities of the proposal because the DRA is an independent authority and would have to consult with Town Manager Tom Hutcheson if it were to go forward. Members did not express whether they favored it or not during the meeting.
Michael Ferry asked if the duties are similar and Town Planner Grant McGregor read the charters for both panels.
The DRA is needed for the acquisition, planning, clearance conservation, rehabilitation, or rebuilding of decadent, substandard, and blighted open areas for residential, governmental, recreational, educational, hospital, business, commercial, industrial, or other purposes.
The DDIC was organized as a direct result of the priority recommendations that were found in the master plan adopted by the planning board in 2001. The voters at the 2002 annual town meeting accepted the commission and the Select Board then appointed nine commissioners to the organization.
Its mission is to promote and develop the industrial resources of the town and to investigate and assist in the establishment of educational, educational, or commercial projects for the purpose of strengthening the local economy.
Members observed that the DRA has more authority than the DDIC.
"The Redevelopment Authority it has more power than regular boards," McGregor said.
"It seems that it's much more broad than that in the DDIC, I guess the name would suggest it's sort of limited to industrial resources and commercial activity, whereas the DRA can get involved with planning and it even says recreational."
The DRA also has a member who is appointed by the governor.
"It's just a thought," Boyle concluded. "I thought I would talk to the town manager about it, the feasibility, and bring it back to the board."
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