Town Officials in Barnstable Seeking Economic Growth

Barnstable Town Manager Mark Ells

BARNSTABLE – Town officials in Barnstable reviewed the state of the town’s economy during a meeting with the Economic Development Commission at the beginning of the new year.

Town Council President Eric Steinhilber and economic development specialist Mike Trovato presented economic development goals for the year during the meeting last Tuesday.

Town Manager Mark Ells said Barnstable is averaging about 1 percent economic growth.

“Though it is tied to the economy it is equally tied to opportunities that present themselves,” Ells said.

Ells said they would like to increase economic growth for the town to 2 or 3 percent.

“We’re going to try to craft a strategy and the tactics to achieve this strategy to take us in that direction,” he said. “Because to do what we want to as a community, we are going to need more than 1 percent growth.”

Ells said the town has also built a close relationship with Housing and Economic Development for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts over the last 18 months.

The town has been in active discussions with Jay Ash, the Housing and Economic Development secretary, on a more aggressive approach to grant opportunities and technical support opportunities.

“They are calling me and saying, ‘This is what’s going on. This is important for the state and, Barnstable, we need you to play a part in this,’” Ells said.

Ells said the town also continues to reach out with CEO’s and presidents of local organizations to ask what they need to bring them to or stay in Barnstable.

“Though that isn’t really a measurable objective, it is an expectation of our leadership that their town manager is out there actively supporting business that we want to have here in the community,” he said.

Ells said the town is poised to take the next step and asked the commissioners for their input and support.

“It’s a second set of eyes,” he said. “It’s bringing expertise to the table to help us craft the objectives and that we are on the right track.”

Officials also discussed MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative. Hyannis was identified as a “Gateway City” and was chosen to participate in a three-year pilot program to enhance public-private partnerships.


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