Haverhill City Council President John A. Michtison is calling on his colleagues to support spending $104,000 over the next two fiscal years as part of a joint initiative to temporarily add positions to the city’s economic development and planning department.
Michitson is seeking approval during Wednesday’s budget review session to use $47,000 for “additional consultants for the economic development department.” Another $57,000 would be added next year. According to a statement from Michitson Monday, the city, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) and the Greater Haverhill Foundation (GHF) have agreed to jointly fund a 22-month initiative, including a full-time economic development consultant and a part-time marketing consultant. Both will work under Economic Development and Planning Director William Pillsbury Jr. They would work as contractors and not as city employees. The total cost will be $235,000 through March of 2018, of which $131,000 would be shared by MTC and GHF.
“I couldn’t be more excited. I agree with the intent of creating a position,” Pillsbury told WHAV.
The agreement, according to Michitson, is the result of a $72,000 “Haverhill Economic Analysis” initiative launched last June. An “Economic Analysis Report” was presented to project partners in November, 2015, by consultants hired to develop “a tactical plan to promote existing business expansion and new business recruitment to the city.”
“As most of you know, I am an ardent advocate for seeking out and developing economic opportunities for Haverhill to provide good jobs for the future at all levels and to lower property taxes. I believe our city’s future depends on it,” Michitson said. “The economic development and marketing consultants will help existing businesses expand and recruit new businesses to Haverhill, by executing the actions identified in the 2015 Economic Analysis Report, such as attracting businesses in the downtown to complement Harbor Place.”
Mayor James J. Fiorentini, Michitson added, negotiated the agreement which is the basis for the city’s share of funding to be addressed during Wednesday’s budget review.
“From the start, the city council has been a key partner with the GHF and MTC in developing the 2015 Economic Analysis Report. I have worked closely with Mayor Fiorentini and Economic Development Director Bill Pillsbury. House Ways and Means Chairman Brian Dempsey was instrumental in securing MTC’s share of the funding. The Greater Haverhill Foundation continues to step up to the challenge of developing more economic development capacity in Haverhill. This is the way that partnerships are supposed to work,” Michitson said.