April 14. 2014 6:57PM

Derry councilors to discuss hiring community development coordinator

Union Leader Correspondent

DERRY — Town councilors will discuss a proposal tonight to hire a community development coordinator to help guide economic redevelopment efforts in Derry.

The council is scheduled to meet at 7:30 p.m. in the Municipal Center meeting room.

Derry’s economic development has remained stagnant in recent years. In addition, Derry has a high tax rate and the town’s ratio of commercial/industrial property valuation is lower than comparable communities in the area, according to a report prepared by acting Town Administrator Larry Budreau.

The town also isn’t doing enough to market Derry or identify, evaluate or address ways to improve the town’s attractiveness, the report said.

In January, the council established goals such as “creating a supportive environment for downtown redevelopment,” the report said. The lack of a central person or organization focused on the coordination of economic development in the community was also cited.

In the past 10 years, Derry has tried a number of approaches in an effort to spark economic development but has met with little success, Budreau said.

Despite the lack of results, Derry should keep trying and needs to hire a community development coordinator, the report said.

A community development coordinator would concentrate on motivating the town to continuously focus on economic development, according to the report. The director would also help guide community development activities and revitalization efforts that are critical to increasing the disproportionately small ratio of commercial/industrial property valuation, the report said.

It would cost about $112,000 per year in salary and benefits to add a community development coordinator, according to the report.

The report recommended adding a community development coordinator, pending final adoption of the Fiscal Year 2015 budget.