By BRENDA J. LINERT
BROOKFIELD - Exasperated by growth spurts in other areas of the Mahoning Valley seemingly bypassing Brookfield, township trustees on Monday called a round table discussion with area economic development experts hoping to prompt growth.
"Today we are here to sell Brookfield Township," Trustee Gary P. Lees said to the small crowd. "Many of you at the round table have brought growth to other communities, and we need to bring growth to our community."
The meeting came following recent Tribune Chronicle reports of efforts by Western Reserve Port Authority Executive Director Rose Ann DeLeon to bring three unrelated businesses with overseas ties to the Mahoning Valley.
Touting Brookfield's highway access, proximity to larger municipalities, the nearby Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport, good schools, emergency services and available land and buildings, Lees and his fellow trustees boasted the potential of the township.
While at least one of the projects is considering a specific Vienna Township location, DeLeon, who took part in Monday's meeting, said it would not be too late to present the property options to the potential developers.
"I think it's great hearing about all the things that we have here because when companies come in and are looking for something in our area, they usually have specific things they are looking for, and the more information we have on all of these properties, buildings, the better," DeLeon said.
Sarah Boyarko, Regional Chamber vice president of economic development, who also took part in the discussion, said she always is looking for development information and said communication is key.
"We do not steer a company in one direction. We are going to present everything in the best light," Boyarko said. In an attempt to gather data on available business locations, Boyarko encouraged property owners and community leaders to contact her at the Regional Chamber and schedule a meeting or a presentation.
"I want to go to every single community and do a presentation on what we do," Boyarko said.
Boyarko said the local chamber has about 23 potential economic development projects in the pipeline this year. A few of those, she said, may carry opportunities for Brookfield development.