Stonington officials to meet with boat-related businesses on Thursday

Stonington — The Economic Development Commission and the town’s Planning Department will meet with the owners of marinas and marine-related businesses on Thursday afternoon to see how the town can assist them.

The so called “community conversation” is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the La Grua Center in the borough. More than 40 marinas or boat-related businesses have been invited to attend. The commission and planning staff are looking for suggestions from the business owners about how to make the local industry as successful as possible.

Director of Planning Jason Vincent pointed out the town’s Plan of Conservation and Development recognizes marinas as an important economic driver in town and recommends investigating changes needed to assist this unique sector of the town’s economy.

He said the forum will help town officials understand the underlying issues facing the businesses and whether there are any local barriers to success and how to address them.

The forum follows others in Pawcatuck and Old Mystic, which asked residents and businesses owners about what issues they are concerned about.

The forums in Pawcatuck led to zoning changes designed to encourage more business development in the downtown and vacant mill space.

“We’re getting into the habit of talking to people about what they are concerned about instead of assuming what they are concerned about,” Vincent said.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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