Town partners with Dukakis Center

The town is seeking how to better position itself for economic growth, through a new partnership between Saugus and the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University. Under the partnership, Saugus will use the center’s Economic Development Self-Assessment Tool. Municipalities undertaking the self assessment complete a lengthy questionnaire assessing their relative strengths and weaknesses in addressing myriad factors that businesses have said are important in deciding where to locate. Once the questionnaire is completed, the statistical results will be available to the town and the Dukakis center will provide a written analysis. The cost to the town is $4,500. Saugus will work directly with Barry Bluestone, an economist who is founding director of the Dukakis center and developed the tool. “This is a great opportunity that will assist in one of the town’s goals of seeking to diversify and maximize the highest and best use of commercial property,” town manager Scott Crabtree said in a prepared statement. He said that would in turn boost tax revenues through new development.