Selectboard approves continued study of Northfield business park

Staff Writer
Published: 1/30/2020 4:56:23 PM

NORTHFIELD — The Selectboard held preliminary discussions regarding the potential development of a business park during its Monday meeting.

Selectboard members heard from the Business Park Committee, which emphasized the need for new economic opportunities in Northfield. Chair Barry Bordner said the town needs commercial property to help augment its tax base and add jobs.

“I truly believe,” he said, “based on a lot of reasons, that we need some land set aside that is approved by right for construction of buildings so we can produce some jobs in this town.”

During Monday’s meeting, the Selectboard approved placing an article on the Annual Town Meeting warrant for $5,000 to use “in the pursuit of research related to the development of a business park in town.” Bordner said it would be meaningful for the project to receive the blessing of residents through an Annual Town Meeting vote.

The purpose of the Business Park Committee is to evaluate the prospects of creating a multi-use business park in town, including potential locations, the nature and types of businesses that might be housed there, public or private ownership opportunities; and to outline the actions needed to create the park, according to the Northfield town website. The committee reports no less than quarterly to the Selectboard and will dissolve upon a final report.

The committee — which also includes John MacDougall, Steve Seredynski and Jack Spanbauer — was formed out of an interest in fostering jobs and economic development, Spanbauer said. The group has held 11 meetings since it was founded in late 2018 and has participated in site visits to potential business park locations.

Historically speaking, Seredynski said, Northfield could be considered an anti-business community. He cited numerous site plans dating back to 1977, and nearly all of them mentioned the perception that Northfield is “anti-business.”

“I think that’s something that needs to change,” Seredynski said.

Master plans for the town from 1977 mention “a need for a business park community,” he said. Other master plans, including community development plans from 1993, 2003 and 2008, all re-affirm the economic interest and need for building a business park.

“We think there is a real opportunity to get something going,” Spanbauer said.

MacDougall said the committee aims to be transparent with its work, and is open to receiving community input. Committee members said the only concerns that have surfaced so far concern the aesthetics of the potential building, which does not have a design plan yet.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at or 413-772-0261, ext. 264.


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