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Town planner hired; Post responsibilities reshuffled, revised.

Byline: Linda Bock

UXBRIDGE - A familiar face in the Blackstone Valley is back in the public sector, as Megan T. DiPrete has been hired as the town's new director of planning and economic development, after four years of working in the private sector.

"The people and approach to governance and community is really where my heart is at," Ms. DiPrete said yesterday. "Uxbridge is a fantastic opportunity for a planner."

Town Manager Jill R. Myers earlier this month hired Ms. DiPrete to serve as Uxbridge's director of planning and economic development, at an annual salary of $58,573. After a recent public hearing, the Board of Selectmen voted 3-2 to accept Ms. Myer's proposal that the position be revised to encompass oversight of the following departments and functions: Planning, zoning, conservation, inspectional services (building, electrical, plumbing, gas), Health Department, animal inspector, sealer of weights and measures, and economic development.Ms. DiPrete has extensive experience, according to her resume, in local government in the Blackstone Valley, and all aspects of community planning and development. After several years working as a town planner in Rhode Island communities, she went to work as the town planner in Grafton. After seven years there, she served as the director of planning and economic development in Millbury for three years. For the past four years, she has worked at the Auburn-based R.H. White Companies as manager of their real estate division.

Ms. DiPrete describes R.H. White as a "dynamite, family-operated business," and said it was a fantastic experience. "I removed myself from the public sector, but my orientation remained public sector," Ms. DiPrete said. She said Uxbridge is at a crossroads, and there will be incredible opportunities and challenges here.

Ms. Myers chose not to reappoint Floyd A. Forman as director of planning and economic development. He served as the first planner in the town's history when the charter was adopted, beginning in August 2002. Mr. Forman's appointment was effective through July 23.

Ms. DiPrete's experience as a town planner included working to coordinate permitting, local concerns and build-out responsibilities for local and regional economic development projects, including CenTech Park in Grafton, and the Shoppes at Blackstone Valley in Millbury. She has worked directly with numerous municipal grant programs as well as public-private partnerships, leveraging public contributions to secure significant investment in community-driven projects ranging from transportation improvements to affordable housing.

Ms. DiPrete, who lives in Rhode Island, has also been actively involved with the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce, recently serving on its board of directors. She holds several degrees and certifications, including a master's of public administration degree, certification by the American Institute of Certified Planners, and a Massachusetts construction supervisor license. She is certified by the International Code Commission as a residential building inspector.

Julie A. Woods, chairman of selectmen, and Selectmen Kevin J. Kuros and Daniel Stack voted in favor of the change in duties and responsibilities for the position, while Selectmen James Dwyer II and Michael R. Potaski voted no.

In other news, Cheryl Brodeur, who serves as the full-time administrative assistant in planning and zoning, submitted her resignation, and today is her last day.
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Jul 31, 2007
Words:526
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