(The following is a press release from Mayor Ted Bettencourt’s office submitted to The Eye.)
Mayor Edward A. Bettencourt, Jr. announced that the City of Peabody has partnered with Salem State University’s Center for Economic Development and Sustainability to help update criticalcomponents of the city’s Master Plan.
“In designing a blueprint for Peabody’s future, we are determined to tap into some of the best local resources available to us,” Mayor Bettencourt said. “Salem State’s Center for Economic Development and Sustainability has established a sterling reputation for its work with a number of North Shore communities. We are very excited to have them on board as key contributors to the Master Plan project.”
Established in 2009 to serve as a think tank for area businesses and municipalities, Salem State’s Center for Economic Development and Sustainability (CEDS) serves as a central repository for research and project data on the economic, environmental and social sustainability of the North Shore region. CEDS offers a variety of services to promote economic development while advancing the educational mission of Salem State, and providing educational opportunities for its students.
“CEDS is pleased to be partnering with the city of Peabody in providing data and technical expertise as the city develops a long-term Master Plan and community vision project,” said Salem State University President Patricia Maguire Meservey. “I am confident that the resources of the university, along with the experience and expertise of the principals working on this project, will ensure the development of a solid plan to support the goals of the city.”
In the first update of Peabody’s Master Plan in over a decade,Mayor Bettencourt has sought a more cost effective approach thanin year’s past; and one with a decidedly local flavor. Per the Mayor’s request, the City Council appropriated $30,000 to contract with CEDS while previous Master Plan consultants – based mainly in Boston, cost taxpayers upwards of $100,000.
Meanwhile, Peabody is among Salem State’s largest feeder cities with some 495 undergraduate students, 78 graduate students and over 3,000 alumni who call Peabody home. Some of those students may play a supporting role in the CEDS / Peabody project collecting data, conducting interviews and engaging in hands on classroom learning.
“Establishing a formal relationship with Salem State University is an idea whose time has come,” said Mayor Bettencourt. “The city and the university share strong ties which stretch back throughgenerations of students, faculty and staff. Our work together will serve to strengthen that bond for many years to come.”