PAWTUCKET — On Thursday night, every table and booth was occupied at Plouffe's Cup 'n Saucer, and the Main Street diner buzzed with lively conversation. However, finding ways to maintain the momentum at this and other downtown businesses was the reason why so many had gathered, and the topic of a meeting called by Mayor Donald Grebien.
About 50 people attended Grebien's “Downtown Dialogue,” where they learned about some coming projects and initiatives from the mayor and key department heads as well as had the opportunity to ask questions and air grievances. The meeting brought out a core group of people who care about the downtown, and allowed for an exchange of ideas about what could be done to bring about revitalization.
Several other elected officials, including City Councilors David Moran, Mark Wildenhain and Terry Mercer, and state Representatives Raymond Johnston and J. Patrick O'Neill also attended the session, which drew business owners and officials from non-profits located in and around the downtown.
Grebien told the crowd he recognizes the importance of economic development, but said the first two years of his administration were essentially consumed by budgetary matters. He said he realizes there is a high level of frustration among those interested in development projects about the fact that “a lot of things don't happen fast enough.”
Read the complete story in Saturday's print edition.