Citizens pitch ideas to boost commerce, jobs in Warrensburg

— A group of local residents have proposed ideas and pledged to take action to do what they can to boost commerce and create jobs in town.

Members of the Warrensburg Economic Development Committee recently shared a variety of ideas and set a course of action.

The group proposed to explore establishing incentives to prompt new businesses to fill vacant storefronts; and to become a resource for both existing and new businesses to help them meet challenges, obtain financing and deal with regulatory hurdles.

Also, the group said they wanted to look into pursuing development of mass transit solutions; to encourage buying local products to keep money circulating in the community; as well as promote development of sustainable, environmentally compatible industries — in conjunction with healthy lifestyles.

Warrensburg town board and school board member Linda Baker Marcella, who established the committee on behalf of the town, said that development of local “green” industry would provide jobs that would entice young adults into staying in their hometown, keeping local families intact. She said that she’s heard that a wide variety of generous grants and low-interest loans are available for establishing enterprises that are involved with data processing and technology.

Marcella told the Warrensburg Town Board Sept. 12 that the Warrensburg committee members are working to become well informed about such opportunities and resources, so they can help launch and expand jobs opportunities that will keep local people employed here.

Marcella also said the group intends to help either existing or prospective businesses line up a qualified workforce, by getting training courses established in local schools to focus on the needed specific technological skills.

The group members have pledged to take specific steps toward their goals, including drafting a plan for a Buy Local program; holding a Warrensburg Fall Business Forum to hear specific local concerns; and researching economic development programs of other similar communities, she said.

Marcella said she was enthusiastic about the ideas raised and the volunteers on the committee. It includes two bankers, Marcella Towers and Dennis Martinez; town code enforcement officer Chris Belden; town supervisor Kevin Geraghty; town historian Sandi Parisi; citizens Ruth Fruda, Vicki Shelden and Anna Busser; and municipal executive Mike Mender, who has served as assistant mayor of Glens Falls for several administrations, Marcella said.

“These are all people who believe in Warrensburg and are committed to economic development and creating new local jobs,” she said.

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