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$20,000 from the LCDC allows the city to move forward with its economic opportunity analysis

A grant from the state will allow the city of Newberg to move forward with an analysis of economic opportunity in the town.

The $20,000 technical assistance grant comes from the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (LCDC). Newberg was selected from among 48 proposals statewide and will move forward with an Economic Opportunity Analysis (EOA) project started earlier.

"The purpose of the EOA is to help the city understand current and projected future needs for land and development as it relates to businesses and employment," the LCDC said in a press release.

The EOA project, adopted earlier this year by the city council as part of the city's "aNewBERG" community visioning program, came about because economic development was highlighted "as one of five topic areas the community wants to strategically address by 2040."

"In order to reach community goals of creating a thriving economy that leverages geographical amenities and creates family wage jobs, the city needs a better understanding of what land is available," the release said.

The grant follows the council's Nov. 18 resolution allowing the city to strike a professional services agreement with ECONorthwest to complete the EOA, which is expected by mid-December 2020, according to the Newberg Community Development Department.

Once complete, the EOA will allow the city to ask "Are there barriers for entrepreneurship and, if so, how do we address them?" Cheryl Caines, Newberg senior planner, said in the release.

The hope is that the EOA will not only determine what type of land is available for development in the city, as well as what type of land the city will need in the future, but also to identify what types of businesses may be attracted to Newberg, the release said.

"This will allow the city to more efficiently and effectively retain, expand and recruit new companies into Newberg that both complement existing businesses and would be interested in the region," the release continued, adding that includes a look at zoning, codes and standards that might encourage more entrepreneurship.

The public will get a chance to add its two cents to the process, as well as learn about the project and hear information the consultant has gathered, during still-unscheduled public meetings that will be held as the project goes forward.


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