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City of Haverhill Massachusetts
Economic Development Newsletter*
January 10, 2004

Destination Haverhill

The Economic News of the City of Haverhill

Mayor James J. Fiorentini
Economic Development Director: William Pillsbury

A Special Note from Mayor Jim Fiorentini
Welcome to Destination Haverhill—the economic newsletter for the city of Haverhill. This newsletter will be published on occasion and distributed to interested parties.

A key goal of my administration is to make certain that Haverhill is business friendly. If you know of a business that is expanding and feel that a call or visit from the Mayor will help bring them to Haverhill, or if you have a concern or question, please let me know. Call me at 978-374-2300 or email me at mayor@cityofhaverhill.com. Please tell us how we can serve you better.

Jim Fiorentini

Pillsbury Named Economic Development Director
William Pillsbury has been named the new Economic Development Director in Haverhill, replacing Eugene O’Neil who took early retirement.

Mr. Pillsbury, in addition to his many other talents, has been the Planning Director for the city of Haverhill for several years, and is the former economic development director for the State of New Hampshire before returning to his home town.

The city intends to be proactive in economic development and Bill Pillsbury has a number of economic development ideas planned.

You can see more about Bill’s department on the city web site at http://www.ci.haverhill.ma.us/departments/econ/index.htm. If you want to reach Bill, his phone number is 978-374-2330 and his email address is wpillsbury@cityofhaverhill.com.

Mayor Fiorentini Says Overall Trend Shows need for Housing, Stressing Quality of Life
“The long term trend for our area is bright, with difficult challenges in the near future” was the theme of Mayor James J. Fiorentini’s inaugural address on January 5th.

Haverhill is making a transition from a manufacturing city to a consumer city. In a manufacturing city, residents are attracted by the quality of factories. In a consumer city, residents are attracted by the quality of life. Haverhill will market its quality of life over the next two years. To view the entire inaugural address check here.

Mayor Fiorentini Sets up Business Visitation Program
I have set up a bi-weekly program to visit local businesses and listen to their concerns. The program begins on Tuesday morning when I will be accompanied by Greater Haverhill President Sally Cerasuolo and by economic development director Bill Pillsbury. State Senator Steven Baddour will attend on those weeks he is not required to be at the legislature in Boston.

I will start in the Ward Hill Industrial Park and visit every other week.

Business visits were a suggestion of the new economic development director William Pillsbury. The idea is to tour the plants or business, meet the CEO, and see if the business has any needs that are not being met by the city. We will pay special attention to businesses considering expansion.

Fiorentini Administration Proposes Bringing Back Left Hand turn onto Merrimack Street
One of the first legislative proposals of the Fiorentini administration will be to restore the left hand turn from the Basiliere Bridge onto Merrimack Street. The turn was eliminated when the Comeau Bridge was closed. I will be presenting an ordinance to the city council shortly for their consideration to restore the turn.

Donahue Institute Shows Importance of Brownfields Redevelopment and Education
A recent economic study by the Donahue Institute at U-Mass show this region of the State did better than the State average over the past ten years. The study also showed that we are losing our young work force and that brownfields redevelopment needs to be a key economic growth component.

The Good News
“The Northeast Region responded well to the opportunities of the 1990s and performed significantly better than the Commonwealth as a whole. Spurred by vigorous growth in software, telecommunications, and related business services, covered employment grew 24.6 percent from 1993 to 2000 (versus 20.2 percent in the state). The workforce expanded 7.5 percent (versus 0.3 percent statewide) and the population 8.6 percent (versus 5.5 percent) between 1990 and 2000.” http://www.massbenchmarks.org/regions/northeast.html

The Bad News
“Residents aged 19 to 44 made up 45 percent of the regional population in 1990 but only 40 percent in 2000. This worrisome trend implies the loss of a portion of the college-educated skill base. The region cannot expect much relief in the future: the 19- to 24-year-old cohort fell more than 20 percent in the 1990s, from 58,733 to 46,845. Just as this skill-base loss poses a significant challenge, so does the growth of the under-18 population. Cities and towns are expected to educate this burgeoning group, a task made difficult by any protracted economic downturn or decline in tax revenues.

The largest population gain occurred in the 45-to-64 age group. As these older workers retire, they will join the under-18 cohort in requiring an array of public services, such as day care and elderly housing. The falloff of residents 19 to 24 along with low growth among 25- to 44-year-olds portends labor shortages and a shrinking taxpayer base.

A number of issues will need to be addressed in the region—workforce training, the redevelopment of brownfields, diversifying the economic base—in order to ensure continuing prosperity.” http://www.massbenchmarks.org/regions/northeast.html

Redevelopment of brownfields is our number one economic goal.

Is the housing market doomed to slip?
At least one analyst thinks so. See Housing with other people's money: The Coming Crash in the Housing Market, by John R. Talbott McGraw Hill, 2003, 195 pages.

For a review see: http://www.beaconhill.org/NewsLink/NLV81/v8n1BookHousingCrash.html

Democratic National Convention Presents Haverhill with Unique Opportunities
July 26-July 29th of this year, the Democratic National Convention will be held in Boston. Thousands of delegates and visitors will descend upon Boston. In the off hours, they will be looking for restaurants, festivals, historic sites and places to visit. You can view more information about the convention at http://www.democrats.org/convention/.

I have asked Thomas Spitalere of the Haverhill Historical Society and the visitor’s bureau in Haverhill to look into ways to bring visitors to Haverhill on that date. Spitalere has suggested an Italian flavor to an event—perhaps a festival or street parade similar to those in the North End, perhaps coordinating restaurants to all offer specials that day. Let us know your suggestions on how we can bring visitors to Haverhill that day! Send the Mayor your ideas now, mayor@cityofhaverhill.com or email Tom directly at tspitalere@yahoo.com.

General Mills, Hans Kissle, Highlight Food Transportation Cluster in Haverhill
The addition of the General Mills Yoplait Brand Yogurt distribution to the new Fibertech Industrial Park in Haverhill means that both Hans Kisel—a food distribution business and Yoplait are now located in Haverhill. The new industrial park is located off Broadway next to Regan Ford.

I attended the grand opening of the park and spoke with General Mills officials who came out from Minneapolis for the ribbon cutting. When asked what brought them to Haverhill, the officials told Fiorentini it was ease of highway access. Haverhill has five exits off Route 495 including two exits that lead directly to industrial parks. Marketing highway access will be a goal of the Fiorentini administration.

Sales Tax Free Day coming to Haverhill, and State
On August 14th, local retail businesses have a unique opportunity to showcase their wares in the first sales tax free day in Massachusetts. Candidate Fiorentini was one of the first candidates to propose a sales tax free day in Massachusetts back in 1999. www.jimfiorentini.com/taxfree.htm

We need your suggestions and advice—how can we make this a gala day for local business in Haverhill?

How can we serve you better?
Please let us know how we can serve you better. To reach the Mayor, send email to mayor@cityofhaverhill.com. To reach the Economic Development office, send email to wpillsbury@cityofhaverhill.com.

If you have someone who would like to receive this newsletter, or if you have just too much email and would prefer not to receive it, send email to jimfior02@aol.com.

*Source: City of Haverhill, Massachusetts Web Site: www.ci.haverhill.ma.us 1-10-04

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