Economic Development Commission - East Haddam

Economic Development Commission

Commission Members:

Robert R. Casner (D), Chairman
Debra M. Mathiasen (U)
Joe Albuquerque (U)
Pamela D. Rubenbauer (D)
Gerald Rucker (U)
A. Frederick Weissbach (R)
Ralph M. Parady (U)

Alternates: 
Donald A. Bergeron (D)
1 vacancy

Part-time staff: Peter S. Simmons, Economic Development Coordinator

P.O. Box K, East Haddam, CT 06423

Meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month at 7:00pm at the Grange Hall.
Business owners and the public are invited to contact us with your ideas and questions or join us at one of our meetings.

The East Haddam Economic Development Commission (EDC) was established in June 1987, in accordance with the provisions of the General Statutes of the State of Connecticut. Seven volunteer members are appointed by the Board of Selectmen for five year terms. A part-time Economic Development Coordinator was added in September 2007, to work with the EDC and First Selectman on key development projects and as a business liaison.

The function of the East Haddam Economic Development Commission is to promote and develop the economic resources of the town, consistent with the town’s historic character, quality of life and natural environment. Promotion efforts focus on the tourism industry and visitor services to compliment East Haddam’s attractions and recreational opportunities. Development strategy focuses on East Haddam’s untapped tourism industry, maximizes its industrial zones, and capitalizes on the Town’s resident-driven market potential.

2013-2014 Fiscal Year:  

East Haddam’s interests were represented at meetings of the Central Regional Tourism District.  East Haddam’s  business directory, calendar, and tourism brochures were regularly updated.  The EDC supported the East Haddam Business Association’s first “Taste of East Haddam” in May.  New businesses were announced in East Haddam Events magazine.  Ads promoting the town were purchased in various publications.  The EDC continued its membership in CT Economic Development Association (CEDAS) and is a member of the East Haddam Business Association (EHBA).  In February, 2014 a mailing was sent to all business (250+) to keep owners apprised of economic opportunities.  An email newsletter delivery service was used to communicate more urgent notifications.  The EDC supports festivals, merchant events and other "destination" type activities by assisting with business tie-ins and advertising.

The Coordinator assisted businesses in obtaining financial resources, land use and permitting approval.  Three commercial properties were listed on the CERC Site Finder database.  The Coordinator assisted the Selectman’s office in managing the STEAP grant and the Department of Agriculture grant awarded for capital improvements at the Harris Property town-owned open space.  He also assisted the First Selectman on the Municipal Working Group for the Center for Community Agriculture.  Mr. Simmons helped with the development and placement of wayfinding signage for Town businesses with the Department of Transportation regarding the closure of Route 82 and detour for the reconstruction of the two bridges in East Haddam Village that began on April 15, 2014 and continued into Fall 2014.  

Website:

The EDC launched its own Tourism and Business Promotion website in 2001. That website was combined with the new municipal website in May 2010 and Commission members continue to maintain the Business Directory, business information and tourism features of the municipal site.

Signage:  

During 2014, the EDC decided to phase-out the large Business Directory signage.  The individual business signs were maintained by EDC for over ten years.  With both of the directory frames in need of relocation and repair, it was agreed to pursue other options to identify business locations.