The Cranbury Township Committee will make a final decision later this month on whether the Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) becomes a commission.
The township committee is now set for a public hearing on Jan. 25 after formally introducing an ordinance on Jan. 11, which formalizes the EDAC as part of the township code.
If the ordinance is adopted the EDAC would still be advisory as a commission and would still report to the township committee. The commission will be advising the township committee on economic development in Cranbury.
According to the ordinance, EDAC would maintain a baseline snapshot of the current state of Cranbury’s businesses and industries; explore ways to stimulate sustainable economic growth in Cranbury; study and analyze various businesses, industries and professions with a view toward opportunities for expansion of such businesses and industries within the township; and collaborate with local business associations and the Middlesex County Office of Economic Development and Business Engagement.
In addition, the commission would research the availability of and prepare applications for grants and/or funding, which would need approval from the township committee. The EDAC would report semi-annually to the township committee on the state of the Cranbury’s business community and provide recommendations for improvement.
The EDAC will also continue to consist of seven members appointed by the township committee. Each member must either be a Cranbury resident and/or business owner of a business in the township.
The EDAC was first established as a committee by the township committee in June 2020 through a resolution. The idea for the committee stemmed from Township Committeeman Matt Scott, who served as mayor in 2020.
Since its creation the EDAC had briefed members of the township committee on the data it had collected during the discovery phase. The EDAC currently is in its define phase and developing the next steps to not only attract, but retain, small businesses in the downtown area.
Once the define phase is complete, which will solicit feedback from not just the township committee members, but other businesses in town and residents, EDAC will then move to the deliver phase. The deliver phase of the group’s three-phased approach focuses on the implementation of the plan and agenda items developed through the define phase.