Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?
These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.
Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...
...seems to be working so far
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Am I Off Base, Or On Target?
Nothing official, only rumor. The same rumor also elicited the comment that CVS was nothing more than a corporation, and that corporations are not helpful, only hurtful to the local economy.
The people making the comments must feel that the only local people should own local business. Problem is that no matter where you go, you are local, and that would mean all corporations should be excluded.
No Shell, Stop & Shop, Walmart, iParty, Marshalls, Staples, Cumberland Farms. You get the point. So why am I wasting anytime on this topic at all? Well, because with all our positive attributes for corporations to set up shop here in town, I am still in disbelief that more have not. We are a town that is bisected by two interstate highways, one US route, 20, and three state routes, 148, 131, and 49. From Sturbridge you can get anywhere without having to travel the backroads of Central Mass, but more importantly, anyone in Central Mass, and beyond, can easily get to Sturbridge. We have acres of land available for industry, retail, and entertainment.
Let's review. Exceptional access, lots of land, an easy drive from most anywhere in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island yet we are nothing more than business No Mans Land.
What could be the common denominator that could possibly be such an influence on our communal welfare?
Maybe the same group that could make it easy, attractive, and beneficial to businesses, is the same group that has been too restrictive making it unattractive for corporations to look here.
This is not just my opinion. It is how the industry feels as well. Sturbridge, as it stands, is a no go.
This all could be changing in the near future. Springfield, West Springfield, and Palmer are all being actively sought by casino corporations. Regardless of how you feel about casinos, when an industry sets up shop, and employs over 5000 people in one location, and is built within 25 minutes of 01566/18, it will stimulate a growth in the area not seen since the post war years. Unless the powers that be start planning for the future now, we will be run over by progress instead of being part of it.
It would great if we could do it without the threat of a casino on the horizon, but at this time, I think that is what it is going to take.
Take another sip of coffee, and discuss.