Salem First for SRN Consortium

Salem, New Jersey Charles Washington, Jr., Mayor, City of Salem New Jersey Municipalities November 19, 2018 Economic Development, Finance + Operation

It was exciting for Salem City to learn that we were chosen to be the first municipality participating in the NJ State Resource Network (SRN) consortium. While Salem City had a plan we were executing, we knew we still needed assistance to fully maximize opportunities and ensure momentum would not be halted. A lot of our success was due to sheer grit and determination of creating a better Salem for our residence, knowing all along that our efforts weren’t sustainable without help.

Being named to participate in the SRN, a consortium of private-sector and non-profits with local government expertise in identifying strategies, stakeholders, and partnerships, ensured tangible and sustainable results. The consortium has brought short-term resources to the city that are helping us to capacity-build through networking. We are identifying partnerships that have mutual interest in Salem City thriving that will ultimately have an impact on those stakeholders.

We have created dialogue through the SRN with our school district, County government, state agencies, civic, faith-based and non-profit leadership as well as small business owners. Having everyone at the table is critical to evaluate what resources are at our disposal to support a plan that will bolster our economy and provide opportunities for all stakeholders and the community. Together we’re working through the consortium to develop an economic and financial plan that supports the plans already being implemented in the city.

Working through the SRN, it’s our goal to produce an economic plan around key priorities that will attract and retain residents and workers while growing business. We want to grow the tax base through rateables and increased employment, but in a manner in which the results are sustained. Financially, we are hoping the consortium helps us achieve fiscal sustainability through long-term financial planning and economic competitiveness. Our financial goals are to leverage economic development opportunities through our competitive advantage of having a port.

The desired outcome is to combat poverty and lack of employment opportunities that undercut the city’s budget and long-term sustainability. We believe as a result of our current and forthcoming plans, along with our opportunities, we will make a major economic recovery in Salem City–with the assistance of the SRN. We plan to capitalize on opportunities with relationship building, underutilized port, undeveloped industrial land, Opportunity Zone Designation, and repaired rail line.

It’s our hope that at the conclusion of this initiative we will be presented with a working document that gives us guidance to become self-sufficient, while relationships will be built and strengthened at all levels of government to assist us in advancing the City of Salem and meeting the needs of our residents.