President’s Letter – March 2021

Greetings,

After a snowy and cold February, spring cannot arrive soon enough for many of us. Taking a line out of a song from the late Great Tom Petty called “The Waiting”, “the waiting is the hardest part.”

Having been affiliated with the Holbrook Community for over 45 years now, which our chamber and lifelong resident Treasurer Fred Coste would laugh and say “newcomer”, I have been a firsthand witness to the term patience is a virtue. I have often noted and commented that nothing ever happens quickly in this town. Plans are made, municipal grants announced then applications submitted via the old hurry up and wait….then…..wait….and wait.

In current times as we evolve into the “new normal” in dealing with a lingering pandemic that may not go away anytime soon if ever, it seems we’re stuck in limbo. Limbo is defined in part via Google as “an uncertain period of awaiting a decision or resolution; an intermediate state or condition.”

Yep, that explains in many ways where the future of our Main St. and Union Avenue redevelopment plans stand as we wrap up the first quarter of the new year. There is far more to discuss than I can put in this column, however in a nutshell this speaks to the status of obtaining sewers and concurrently working with many of the commercial property owners in redeveloping and redefining their centers. Change must occur in order for the business community to evolve with the ultimate goal of remaining economically viable.

The chamber along with the State, County and both Townships back in 2018 collaborated on and paid for a complete economic impact and redevelopment study specifically for this corridor of Holbrook.

Many of the suggested elements from the experts with both chamber and civic input involved are feasible and if implemented would really improve our downtown which technically by definition is not designated by the county as a “true downtown” but that’s a story for another column.

The genesis for making these changes all come back to installing a sewer hookup to the area which will dramatically increase what is known as the “wet density.” In other words it increases the waste water capacity for the “downtown” which would enable more medical, hospitality and even a small residential component (ie: senior living and or workforce housing) to potentially occupy space within the town.

Of course even after several years of discussion, lobbying by the chamber and verbal commitments from our government officials this is all still in the early stages. However, until we get a commitment from the county to commence with the design plans we are still in limbo where the waiting is truly….the hardest part. I can promise this though, the chamber is on a mission to see this initiative through. Simply put it’s a must if we want our community to move forward as the business world as we have known it for many years now changes for the future.

The chamber is pleased to announce we’re back to meeting in person again on the first Thursday of the month at Trios within the Holbrook Country Club. Doors 5:30 pm, meeting starts promptly at 6. All business people and community HOA reps are welcome.

In closing, on behalf of the chamber a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Passover to all who are celebrating and observing.

Stay safe and Healthy!
All the Best Always,
Rick Ammirati
President
Holbrook Chamber of Commerce

 
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