[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Smithfield 9-2-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-06; amended in its entirety 7-9-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-03 . Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Council finds that an Economic Development Commission is needed to encourage and enhance the business climate by promoting a variety of incentive programs and support services for both new and existing businesses consistent with the goals of the community.
There is hereby established an Economic Development Commission to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
The Economic Development Commission shall consist of five regular members and two alternate members who shall be designated as first and second alternates. All Commission members shall be appointed by the Town Council from among the qualified voters of the Town. Each regular member shall serve a term of three years, except that the terms shall be arranged so that the term of one regular member shall expire each year. Each alternate member shall serve a term of one year.
The alternate members shall sit and may actively participate in the meetings of the Commission. The first alternate shall vote if a regular member of the Commission is unable to attend or participate in a meeting and the second alternate shall vote if two regular members of the Commission are unable to attend or participate in a meeting. In the absence of the first alternate member, the second alternate member shall serve in the position of the first alternate member.
In the event of a vacancy on the Commission, the Town Council shall make an interim appointment for the remainder of the unexpired term. In the event that a Commission member shall have missed three consecutive regular meetings without the consent of the Commission Chair, then his or her membership shall expire forthwith and the Town Council shall make an interim appointment to fill the unexpired term of the vacancy.
The Commission shall organize annually in January or the first meeting of the year. The Commission, by election, shall select from its membership a Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary and may adopt any rules of procedure deemed necessary for the proper discharge of its duties. Meetings of the Commission shall be conducted in accordance with the Rhode Island Open Meetings Act.
Editor's Note: See R.I.G.L. § 42-46-1 et seq.
Three members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum, and no vacancy in the membership shall impair the right of a quorum to exercise all the rights and perform all of the duties of the Commission.
The Commission shall have the following powers and duties:
The Commission is an advisory board to the Town Council. The general purposes of the Commission are to:
Establish long-and short-term economic development goals for the Town, including goals proposed for inclusion in the Comprehensive Community Plan;
Provide support and outreach to existing businesses in the Town;
Provide support and outreach to new businesses seeking to locate in the Town;
Research properties in the Town that may be available for attracting new businesses;
Develop a site inventory of potentially suitable sites for location and relocation of businesses; and
Research local and statewide resources available to Smithfield businesses.
As an advisory board, the Commission is intended to provide assistance to the Town Council, and input to the Town administration regarding issues and programs relating to economic development in Smithfield. In addition, the Commission is intended to act as a local resource for the community relative to economic development issues. In this respect, the Commission shall:
Establish a work program based upon the action items included in the Economic Development element of the Comprehensive Community Plan;
Meet on a monthly basis and report on an annual basis to the Town Council regarding the status of implementation of economic development initiatives within Smithfield;
Work with local businesses to strengthen their competitiveness and to increase their ability to access competitive funding sources (state and federal);
Act as an advocate and catalyst for economic development issues within the Town.
Provide advisory review and assistance to the Town Council relative to local ordinances and land development projects and potential modifications to the Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision and Land Development Regulations aimed at improving the economic development climate within the Town; and
Provide advisory review and assistance concerning any economic development matter referred to it by the Town Council.