BROWNSBURG — In an ongoing effort to promote town transparency and take citizen feedback on everything from road construction projects to water bill costs, town officials here held their first morning town hall meeting of 2013, where Grant Kleinhenz, town manager, focused on defining the upcoming goals for the year.
Kleinhenz said the goal at this point is to hold the meetings on the first Tuesday of every other month to gauge resident feedback and communicate what’s going on in the town. He outlined a litany of goals and provided updates on some of the things that have been going on recently.
“Economic development is one of the biggest areas we focus on very heavily,” he said, noting a plan that requires businesses to meet certain guidelines, most notably pay scales, to receive tax incentives. “We want businesses that are receiving any type of tax incentive to pay a living wage. If the average wage is $16 for a machine operator, you’re going to get those incentives if you’re near that average or incentives if you go above that. Disposable income runs our community.”
Kleinhenz said the Economic Development Commission approved the plan, which will go before the town council at its Feb. 14 meeting.
He also gave designs of a facade improvement program, where the town would set aside a matching grant program for business owners to help improve the look of their buildings, if need be.
“For instance, peeling paint or windows that aren’t up to snuff,” he explained. “In these economic times, a lot of business owners don’t have the dollars to fix up those problems. I want to see a vibrant downtown. It also protects the building. In my experience, for every dollar you put in for something like that, you usually get a return of about four to five times.”