2010-08-06 / Opinions & Editorial

A rainbow of hope shines down on Leominster

BY MAYOR DEAN MAZZARELLA

Two Sundays ago we experienced one of those afternoons when it was hot and humid with late day thunderstorms. These are those storms where on one side of town it’s pouring and the other side is dry. Well on our side of town we were hit with the storm and just as the storm ended the sky cleared and we were presented with the most beautiful double rainbow that I’ve ever seen. Cars pulled over and people jumped out to pose with this double beauty. I can’t recall a time when I’ve seen such a reaction. But as I thought about that double rainbow and people’s instant reaction to it, I came to realize that it was a symbol of hope for many who find themselves struggling. Let’s face it. Times are tough. We’re all searching for the rainbow in our day – whether it’s good news in our families, at our job, or with the national economy.

There’s two ways to proceed through life. Getting up in the morning and making good things happen, or dwelling on the negative. In Leominster, we’re all about the first.

You all watch the news. Unemployment is high and people are having a tough time finding work. As a community, we could either suffer with the rest of the country – waiting for the recession to be over or we can make our own rainbow right here in North Central Massachusetts through our economic development efforts.

After years of planning and advocacy, Leominster is unique that we have two business parks coming on line. The City and Lisciotti Development have worked to complete the necessary infrastructure for Leominster Business Park, located on Route 117. At this time, we are ready to begin a strong public-private partnership to market the park to prospective companies. On Route 12, the City and Whitney Development are currently completing the necessary infrastructure for a second business park on the City’s south side. Both will bring jobs of all skill levels to our region and provide a significant economic boost.

For those who have a “glass is half empty” philosophy, you could spend your day dwelling on the decline in manufacturing. But being a traditional manufacturing community, we look at our manufacturing base as an asset that places the City in a unique position to attract companies to our new parks even during tough times. No matter what type of manufacturing is interested in coming to our City, whether it’s basic or high tech, we have the skill set for every job to get a product out the door efficiently. New and existing companies will have a tremendous network to build on to enhance our region’s competitiveness on a national and international level.

More exciting, is that people can both live and work here. From executive to affordable housing and everything in between, the City’s economic development team is continuing our efforts to make sure there is a place for everyone who wants to live and work in Leominster. We continue to work on neighborhood development and housing projects with the Twin Cities Community Development Corporation and the Leominster Housing Authority. We are thrilled that the CDC is about to embark on their redevelopment at the corner of Whitney and Water Streets in the City’s Comb & Carriage District. The neighborhood holds a special place in Leominster’s history and its continued health and redevelopment is a high priority for our team.

Many of you have heard me talk time and time again about the importance of buying American. When the Fox 25 Zip Trip came, we were able to gather some items made in Leominster. Despite starting two days before the Zip Trip, the Fox 25 personalities were so impressed that we still make things here. So, later this summer, our economic development team will be gathering all products Made in Leominster so that we can amaze those outside our borders. We can’t wait to showcase all that happens right here in our City.

For those of you looking for a rainbow in the economy, Leominster is not waiting on national trends. The people of Leominster, our network of companies, and our strong neighborhoods are all we need to move Leominster forward during these tough economic times. Our economic development team is experienced in marketing the city to new companies, obtaining the necessary grants to take on new projects, and helping our current businesses remain strong. Working together, we are in a perfect position to retain and create job, enhance our neighborhoods, and maintain a healthy downtown economy.

From my vantage point, Leominster is a community filled with hope. It’s a place where we take pride in our accomplishments and seek new and exciting opportunities. I hope that you share my enthusiasm and will embrace our future with me.

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