March 27, 2009
EDC focuses on improving Web site


GOFFSTOWN - The path to more economic development and business from hikers and tourists may be in a revamped Web site, Economic Development Council members recently said.

Councilors said Goffstown already has a lot that makes it a destination. Touting the town’s opportunities for recreation – which include two mountains, a river, a lake and miles of trails – has been cited as one obvious way of attracting more people and business, but members of the council have said they are open to other suggestions.

Councilors said the main task for now should be marketing what Goffstown has by designing a new, user-friendly Web site. The existing site,, is mostly a guide to local government, with a list of boards, a calendar of meetings, and an archive of meeting minutes.

The new site could have directories of local businesses and restaurants, a community calendar of activities, and links to cultural events at Saint Anselm College, according to Chairman Al Desruisseaux and Steve Griffin, the town administrator’s representative on the council.

The site also might have a comprehensive map to all the trails in Goffstown. One member, Alan Yeaton, has estimated that there might be more than 40 miles of trails, many that are unknown to the public.

Other than working on the Web site, the council decided to reach out to groups that were not well represented at the January forum. At the next meeting on March 24, the council will meet with local clergymen to get their input.

Selectman Scott Gross, a liaison to the council, said it also should survey local businesses asking them what draws their customers to town, what challenges they face in doing business, as well as what they can to do help the town with its goals and vice versa.

One focus last night was on the recreational potential of the Piscataquog River. Griffin said town sewer officials had volunteered to turn the land around a pump station into a small park where people could launch canoes or kayaks into the river. The station is located off East Union Street in Goffstown Village.

Also on March 24, the Goffstown Main Street Program will present the council with a preliminary plan for turning the strip of land between Mill Street and the river into long stone steps that would lead to the edge of the water and be a place for reading, fishing, picnics and other activities.

Gross said the success of the “Destination Goffstown” effort would depend in large measure on community organizations like the Goffstown Main Street Program.

“I think government needs to step out of the way, and help them, but let them do what they do,” Gross said. “I think that’s where we’re going to see more success.

In the meantime, the council is asking Goffstown residents to e-mail them about what brought them to town and what they think makes it a destination. E-mails should be sent to


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