[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Charlestown 9-8-1997 by Ord. No. 208. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Code of Ordinances of the Town of Charlestown is hereby amended by the addition of Chapter 20 entitled "Economic Improvement Commission".
The purpose of this ordinance is to improve the business environment of Charlestown for existing and prospective business and industrial enterprises.
The Economic Improvement Commission (Commission) shall consist of seven members appointed by the Town Council, at least one of whom shall be recommended by the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce. All members of the Economic Improvement Commission shall be residents of the Town of Charlestown.
[Amended 6-14-1999 by Ord. No. 215]
Initial appointments shall be for the following terms: Three shall be appointed for three-year terms, three shall be appointed for two-year terms, and one shall be appointed for a one-year term. Thereafter, as terms expire, reappointments shall be made effective on September 1st for three-year terms.
[Amended 6-14-1999 by Ord. No. 215]
Ex-officio members to the Commission shall include the Town Administrator, Town Planner, Tax Assessor, and the President of the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce. In addition, the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce shall be an ex-officio member and special advisor to the Commission.
In the event a vacancy shall occur prior to a member serving the entire appointment period, the Town Council shall fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term.
If any member of the Commission shall miss three consecutive meetings without advising the Chair of a satisfactory reason why the member will not be or has not been in attendance, said member shall be automatically disaffiliated from membership and shall be so advised by the Town Clerk upon notice from the Chair. If any member shall conduct himself/herself in such a manner as may be deemed detrimental to the Commission or to the best interests of the Town, the Town Council shall have the right to remove such member. A majority (3) of the Commission membership may make a recommendation for removal to the Town Council.
The Commission shall organize annually by electing all of its officers exclusive of the Chair who shall be designated by the Town Council.
The Economic Improvement Commission shall be an advisory body to the Town Council and other Boards and Commissions of the Town.
The Commission shall make recommendations of actions, plans, and strategies which shall be presented to the Town Council for its review and concurrence, after which the Commission may pursue their implementation.
The Commission shall adopt rules and procedures for the performance of the duties prescribed by law and contained in this Chapter.
The Commission shall hold regular meetings once a month and shall be subject to the State's Open Meetings Law.
Special meetings shall be held at the call of the Chair or upon the request of two of its members.
Any persons or their duly constituted representative shall be entitled to appear and be heard on any matter before the Commission.
All records of the Commission's proceedings, resolutions and actions shall be open to public view consistent with the Open Meetings and Public Records Acts of the Town of Charlestown and the State of Rhode Island.
All meeting minutes, reports and records shall be filed with the Town Clerk.
Annual progress reports shall be submitted to the Town Council.
It shall be the duty of the Commission to improve the business environment of Charlestown for existing and prospective business and industrial enterprises.
The Commission shall develop plans and strategies to promote and aid commercial entities and to assist in the development, expansion and location of appropriate industries and businesses in the Town consistent with the Town's Comprehensive Plan and Planning/Zoning Ordinances.
The Commission shall consider means to increase the Town's tax base and employment opportunities.
The Commission's plan shall establish an equitable balance between commercial and residential properties and interest.
Maintenance of the Town's rural, natural character and amenities shall be taken into account for all and any recommended developments.
The Commission shall cooperate with the Town's Planning Commission and Zoning Board and all Administrative Departments of the town.
The Commission's plan shall address desirable short, medium and long term goals for the community.
The Commission shall have access to all available plans, records, surveys and other information on file with any town department and may call upon them for aid, advice and assistance in pursuing its mission.
The Commission may act as a liaison between the Town and State and Federal agencies on matters pertaining to its duties.
The Commission shall provide information, aid and assistance to any entity seeking to develop, expand or locate a business or industry within Charlestown, subject to Town Council review and approvals when appropriate.
The Commission may make surveys and compile statistics in the furtherance of its purpose.
The Commission shall work with the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce, the South County Tourism Council, the Rhode Island Tourism Council, the State Economic Development Commission and other like organizations to promote tourism and economic growth and to develop public or private amenities related thereto. Expansion of the tourism season being a specific goal to achieve.
The Commission shall work with the Planning Commission on any changes to the Town's Comprehensive Plan or Zoning Map deemed essential to implement its Plan with the ultimate decision in this respect resting with the Town Council.
The Commission shall work with the current business community to assist it in being more competitive and successful.
The Commission shall perform such other duties not inconsistent with its purpose and mission.
The Town Council shall recommend appropriate funds for the Commission in the annual budget necessary for it to carry out the purposes of this Chapter.
The Commission, by a vote of the majority of its members, may vote to expend funds that have been appropriated for its use. Such expenditures shall be made in consultation with the Town Administrator to assure compliance with the Town Charter, Budget, and Purchasing Manual.
The Commission shall have the authority to recommend to the Town Council acceptance of public support and money from individuals, groups of individuals or others for the purpose of carrying out its mission.
The Commission may search out and apply for public and private Grants-in-aid to further its goals and objectives.
The Town Administrator, in consultation with the Town Council and the Commission, shall designate a Department Head who shall attend all Commission meetings and coordinate Commission activities and needs. The Administrator shall also arrange clerical support of the Commission consistent with its activities and needs.