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Good infrastructure is the key



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, July 11, 2016

If you build it, they will come.

“Really, the most important thing is that a business needs to know that there is a good infrastructure in place,” said Jo Anne Carr, the director of economic development in Jaffrey.

Jaffrey has a plan for the slow expansion, which has already begun with extending existing infrastructure to the Stone Arch Bridge Industrial District, an area that the town would like to encourage development in.

“It allows for expansion of the existing businesses up there, and opens up the district to the possibility of more manufacturing and other new development,” said Carr.

Not to say that infrastructure – things like roads and water and sewer connections – comes without a cost, said Carr. While necessary for continued development, it is not a process that can be done overnight.

“The town has an extensive asset management program to prioritize infrastructure improvements so that we can phase them in over a planned period of time, so that we can expand our business base without too much burden on the taxpayer,” said Carr.

In addition, the town has created tax credits and designated economic revitalization zones to try to make development in the appropriate places more attractive to new developments and construction.

Hand in hand with that, said Carr, is creating a vision for Jaffrey, a process the Planning Board is currently undergoing by revising the vision for the town’s Master Plan. And while many people think of small retail when they think of business in Jaffrey, said Carr, they often forget the thriving manufacturing businesses there, which provide large employment bases.

“It’s interesting that often times folks in town forget how strong manufacturing is in Jaffrey. Nationally, we see manufacturing in decline, but medical fabrications and innovation technologies are creating an interesting business cluster in Jaffrey.”

Quiet, clean manufacturing industries with high-value intellectual property components, such as EMD Millipore and Microcatheter Components and their like, remain a valuable resource for Jaffrey, said Carr. And Jaffrey’s zoning remains flexible enough for these businesses to both exist and expand when needed.