Salem State to lend data and tech expertise

Mayor Ted Bettencourt last week said the city has contracted with Salem State University’s Center for Economic Development and Sustainability to provide the city with data and technical expertise in its first master plan update in more than a decade, now getting underway. In designing a blueprint for Peabody’s future, we are determined to tap into some of the best local resources available to us,” Bettencourt said in a written statement. “Salem State’s Center for Economic Development and Sustainability has established a sterling reputation for its work with a number of North Shore communities. We are very excited to have them on board as key contributors to the master plan project.” Peabody is Salem State’s largest feeder city for freshmen undergraduates at the university this school year. City officials said that working with the university is also cost-effective, noting that the $30,000 Peabody has agreed to pay the center is well below the roughly $100,000 it paid for past master plan updates. The City Council on Jan. 24 appropriated the $30,000 at Bettencourt’s request.