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Plans are good, but so is action

In early January, consultant Goman+York of East Hartford issued a report with recommendations on how Winsted should proceed with economic development.

The report was issued after a Envision Winsted meeting was held at Town Hall in December, when more than 70 residents gave ideas for economic development and the important priorities the town should tackle.

The full 23-page report is available online at www.townofwinchester.org/sites/winchesterct/files/gomanyork_report_jan_2...

While it is great to see a comprehensive study on the potential routes the town can take with economic development, it would be better still to see the Board of Selectmen, along with the Economic Development Commission, undertake the strategies outlined in the report.

As Goman+York’s report noted, over time other reports on economic and town development in Winsted have been developed, including the 1993 Yale University Study and 2003 Main Street Revitalization Report.

Chances are good that both studies included much of the same analysis and suggestions as the recent Goman+York report.

Over the years, The Winsted Journal has made many of the same recommendations and suggestions that the Goman+York report has made, including consulting with the state’s Department of Transportation on making changes that will be beneficial to Main Street, establishing a volunteer marketing and website committee and applying for grants in order to help the town’s image.

While we all know that Rome was not built in a day, it would behoove the selectmen and EDC to move forward with these plans sooner rather than later.

Nothing that Gorman+ York reported is a big secret. Residents and town officials have known about the advantages and shortcomings of the town for quite some time.

Something that should be avoided within the next five or so years is the town seeking yet another report. Doing so would be like the movie “Groundhog Day,” where the same day happens over and over again.

So officials and residents should do what Bill Murray’s character, Phil Connors, did in the film: Start doing things differently. Don’t just think outside of the box, eliminate it.

Think about the typical strategies that the town has used to deal with economic development issues over the past few years, then make plans to do everything differently.

No matter how many years have passed, how many brainstorming meetings have been held or reports have been issued, the message is clear that people want to make things better for the town.

Now it’s time to go forward.

 

Don’t try. Do.