Making Democracy Work

Economic Development and Industrial Corporation

Carol B. Chittenden, Observer

Meetings: 2d Tuesdays, 8:30 a.m., Selectmen's Room Organized as 501C3, est. 1981

Falmouth EDIC Mission Statement: The Falmouth Economic Development and Industrial Corporation is the lead agency of the Town of Falmouth to create and act upon opportunities to increase economic development in a healthy environment for present and future generations.

The goal is a clean, diverse, and innovative economic climate while maintaining and enhancing Falmouth's natural resources, intellectual and creative capacity, and work place opportunities.

EDIC Board Members: Michael Galasso, Chm. Emer. (Affordable Housing Developer) Chris Simmler (Construction Project Designer) Chris Langlais, Treas. (Bank Loan Officer) Chris Land, Chm. Elect (WHOI General Counsel) Brooks Bartlett, Member (Financial Consultant) Susan L. Moran, Member (Selectman; corporate attorney) Jim Fox, Member (Planning Board; Realtor) EDIC has a part time administrative assistant position, lately filled by Lynne Broderick, who is apparently handling details of property management for the renovated bus station. Other responsibilities are not spelled out. A small office space has been rented for file storage, and as a work station as needed.

This observer feels that the newest members of EDIC bring an increased level of vision and expertise, compared to some in earlier years. Great credit is due to Michael Galasso, who served six years as Chair, and oversaw continuous progress with devotion and integrity. In January, 2018, Chris Land was elected as Galasso's successor. The EDIC has passed some significant milestones in the 18 months since this observer last reported.

They include: Operational completion of the landfill solar array Operational completion of the Bus Station Renovation Due to these accomplishments, the EDIC now has operating revenue, which will enable it to undertake wider and more ambitious projects. Beginning redevelopment of the Technology Park Completion of a detailed affordable housing study Supporting regulations to encourage accessory apartment development Moving toward enabling Main Street merchants to connect with OpenCape to obtain ultra-high speed internet capacity. Supporting a long range vision plan for East Main Street Launching a new EDIC website.

In addition, EDIC has initiated a regular procedure of inviting a local business or organization to open each meeting with a presentation. This has brought before the EDIC a wide range of efforts. Examples include interest in a community swimming pool; over-55 housing developments; aquaculture; redevelopment of existing buildings; creation of a local YMCA; Cape Cod Commission; Olympic Village; summer service training programs; Integrity Ocean Systems; Sunpower; marine robotics; a bike sharing program, affordable housing, and many others.

A major responsibility of the EDIC is oversight of the Falmouth Technology Park, a 114-acre development off Thomas Landers Road that was set up in the early 1980's as a light industrial zone offering advantages to businesses and organizations purchasing property there. All but about 5 acres are now in private hands, though only about half the privately owned parcels are fully developed. Business climate and opportunities have evolved, and EDIC began to address the need for redevelopment, starting with improved signage. However, EDIC stumbled in addressing the impending Development Agreement with the Cape Cod Commission, possibly due to the extremely low level of implementation. The purpose of the Development Agreement is to shield larger developers from the Cape Cod Commission's stringent and costly development regulations. If the Agreement expires without extension on February 21, 2018, it discourages any potential developers, including an unnamed party currently considering a large installation. Therefore emergency action has been spurred, with results currently uncertain.

Month to month EDIC affairs seem to be in good order: agendas are posted in advance of meetings, and minutes are posted once approved. Despite lively discussion on some points, members are respectful of each other and their mission. Executive sessions are clearly defined, and there are no obvious violations of open meeting rules.

On the town website, EDIC can be located by search, but does not appear in the list of Boards and Committees, or Departments, so would be difficult to find for anyone who didn't already know its name.