Indian Hill Music will be an economic benefit to Groton

Some folks believe that Indian Hill Music got a deal on the permit fee and Indian Hill should now justify this decision.

What? Why? Indian Hill did not approve the permit fee. It is the Groton Board of Selectmen that approved the permit fee, but yet Indian Hill is made to believe that they need to justify the decision that was made by the Groton Board of Selectmen. This is an interesting perspective; however, not one I share.

Nevertheless, Indian Hill felt compelled to share the opinion of Professor of Economics, Dr. Stephen Sheppard with the Groton Board of Selectmen. In his letter to the Groton Board of Selectmen chair, he outlined the impacts that would be realized in the northwest portion of Middlesex County, including the town of Groton and several nearby communities.

Dr. Sheppard projects after three years of Indian Hill opening their doors, the Center would add nearly $21 million per year in the local economy and an economic expansion would add almost 195 jobs that paid an average of $34,436 annually. The number of new jobs and wages paid to workers will vary across sectors of the economy, naming an example that nearly 23 new jobs in full-service restaurants would be created. Dr. Sheppard went on to say there are three types of changes that should be expected to the local economy.


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1) The direct impact of activities of the Center and audience who come to the area, examples would be meals at local restaurants, ticket sales, and associated production expenses. 2) The indirect impact is the expansion of businesses in the area that grow to meet the demand directly caused by the Center and audiences. 3) The induced impact is caused by general economic growth in the area, an example would be the 195 jobs that provide income that would be spent in various sectors of the economy.

One would think that this information would have been sufficient enough to end any doubt surrounding whether there would be or not be an economic benefit from Indian Hill Music coming to Groton. Seemingly a member of the Board of Selectmen had a different perspective. That perspective compelled him to challenge the validity of the information provided by Indian Hill Music and Dr. Stephen Sheppard. In doing so, it side tracks the entire discussion, making discrediting the information a priority over understanding the possible opportunities and strategizing how to capitalize on Indian Hill Music joining our community. It is completely understandable why Indian Hill Music Center provided the info but did not attend the meeting in person, why subject themselves to an interrogation that clearly awaited them at that meeting.

Every negative moment spent criticizing and discrediting the economic value, educational value and cultural value that Indian Hill Music brings to our town is another step towards the loss of an incredible opportunity for our town. Enough is enough, Indian Hill Music is coming to Groton. Every single board in our town should be doing everything in their power to capitalize on the numerous opportunities that will be available to our town with the arrival of Indian Hill Music Center. The responsibility of identifying how our town goes about taking advantage of this opportunity and how much of the economic, educational and cultural impact our town will receive is not up to Indian Hill Music. This is not up to Indian Hill Music, that is on us!

As the chair of the School Committee, speaking on my own behalf, I believe the Indian Hill Music Center is an incredible opportunity for our District. It is a priority for me to continue conversations with Indian Hill Music to work towards establishing various enrichment programs and offerings that will be available to the students in our District.

As a taxpayer, (that's right, I can change hats since I pay my share of real estate taxes too) I believe that the benefits to our town should not and will not stop at our District if all our boards work together to ensure that Indian Hill Music is a success. The Board of Selectmen will play a pivotal role in making Indian Hill Music a success for our town as a whole. I sincerely believe they are up to the challenge and will rise above the negative drama that seemingly has impaired their ability over the last couple weeks. I encourage our community members to do the same and support Indian Hill Music Center. We as a community will determine how Indian Music Center impacts our town, we can take advantage of it or allow our surrounding towns to do so.

Marlena Gilbert

Groton

Tran thanks voters, volunteers for election win

I want to express my heartfelt thanks to the voters of the Worcester and Middlesex District for electing me to the state Senate. I am honored and humbled that you have placed your trust in me. I will work tirelessly on your behalf to seek solutions to our many challenges and problems.

My victory was made possible by the outpouring of diverse grass-roots supporters, friends, family and the many campaign volunteers who all want to secure a lasting and meaningful improvement to our quality of life.

Not only am I thankful for your support, but also for all elected and public officials who serve the district and advance the issues of importance in their cities and towns. It is not easy to put oneself out there these days, so I give credit to those with the initiative to do so.

Again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. I would also like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a healthy New Year.

Dean Tran

Fitchburg

Thank you from American Legion to turkey raffle donors

As Past Commander of the Laurence W. Gay Post of the American Legion, I would like to thank the participants and prize donors for their support of the American Legion's 59th Annual Turkey Raffle. This event was a great success and will help fund our community service projects such as Boys' State, Girls' State, trophies for Boys' State and Girls' State participants, sportsmanship trophies for high school seniors (both a young man and a young lady), and the Memorial Day parade, to name just a few.

Our special thanks go to the following prize donors from Groton and surrounding communities: Ayer Oil Company, Bailey's Bar & Grille, Block & Blade, Blood Farm, The Bronze Bell, Craftsman Lumber Company, Filho's Cucina, 4 Corners Cleaners, Gervais Ford, Gosselin Group Realtors, Great Road Farm and Garden, Groton Electric Light Department, Groton Market, Jack McCrossan Photography, Jack O'Lantern Wine & Spirits, Luina Greine Farm, Mary Murphy Laer Realty Partners, The Minor Chord Music Outfitters, Moison's Ace Hardware, Murphy Insurance Agency, Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company, Pit Stop Barber Shop, J.P. Sullivan Company, Jeffrey and Gwenneth Wallons, and Wilkins Florist and Farm Stand. Our thanks also go to Buckingham Bus Company, Groton Collision Repair, Moulton Construction Corp., Wilson's Service Center, and Workers Credit Union for donations to our community support fund; the Groton Council on Aging for the use of the Senior Center; and Donelan's Supermarket and Shaw's for letting us sell raffle tickets in front of their stores. Finally, our special thanks to our beloved Auxiliary members who provided refreshments for the evening.

Bob Johnson

Groton