WEATHERSFIELD - A butcher, a baker and about a dozen other business owners gathered Tuesday at the township administrative building for the first meeting of the Weathersfield Business Network. The owners and operators were invited by township trustees as part of a business development initiative.
"As you look around the room, you can see the opportunities here," Trustee Gil Blair said.
Blair said the trustees hope the group meetings will provide opportunities for companies to collaborate, enrich the community and bring to the township's attention any existing issues.
Tribune Chronicle / Margaret Thompson
George Rohland, center, discusses sewer issues with trustees at the first meeting of the Weathersfield Business Network on Tuesday evening. Rohland owns several rental properties in the township.
"We want to find out what it is we can do to help you because you are valuable to us and to each other," Blair said.
Business owners brought up issues including heavy traffic on state Route 46 and sewer issues that the trustees said they would investigate.
Rick Warmouth was one of the attendees who sees the township's potential and is hoping to start his indoor archery range and equipment shop there.
Why Weathersfield? "It's the middle of the area, plus the highway access," Warmouth said.
His competition would be far enough away and Canfield Schools already have an archery team in need of somewhere to shoot.
"We need the square footage and so far it's ideal," he said of the location they have scouted out.
The township holds several areas where businesses reside and can locate themselves. Among these Trustee Steven Gerberry said are sections of state Route 46 and the intersection of Tibbetts Wick Road, Robbins Avenue and U.S. Route 422.
Another area to note is in the northwest corner of the township, along the border with Niles, where there are large industrial plots of land. Trustees said they are working with the city on a Joint Economic Development District to provide the area with electricity and water in hopes of luring new businesses.
"I think it's great. It really is, the community is very supportive," said Steve Badurik of Badurik's Butcher Block.
His shop has been in business for five years and he said he's all in favor of the new business network. Already the open group has set their next meeting for Nov. 19 at the administration building.