NEW CANAAN — The town’s highest elected official has made plans to form a committee that would help bring more attention to the town’s attractions and downtown businesses.

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said the proposed town group would work with local merchants to see what areas could be improved to help businesses.

“We started talking to the Chamber of Commerce whose job it is to push the interest of its members,” Moynihan said. “This would cover broader perspectives like the Glass House and Grace Farms and also to support the restaurants and how we can promote other economic activity.”

According to Moynihan, the new town group would include 11 members. He cited the towns of Ridgefield and Greenwich as examples of what these committees could do.

Moynihan has said Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tucker Murphy would be a member of the commission. He has also said that he would look at members to represent certain local tourist attractions like The Glass House and Grace Farms.

“This is something that we’ve been in support of all along,” Murphy said. “This is a good thing. I can’t lose sight of the fact that I’m working with merchants and we can leverage some of the expertise that we have in this town and research more projects.”

Murphy said the Chamber of Commerce had been a de facto tourism and economic development committee and that a formalized group would help with marketing and the like.

“A body like this would help us with getting more expertise, more opportunity for a private-public partnership and beef up their marketing piece, especially with the upcoming new town website,” Murphy said.

Community Initiative Director and Faith Initiative Program Facilitator at Grace Farms Foundation Lisa Lynne Kirkpatrick said that such a committee would be beneficial to local groups and the town.

“We’re excited by this new opportunity to work with our New Canaan peers to further enhance and bring awareness to everything the town has to offer,” Kirkpatrick said.

The committee originally came up after the Board of Selectmen discussed the new town website, something town officials also hopes will bolster the town’s online presence.

Murphy alluded to a 2010 marketing campaign and a new video that was produced to show the qualities and opportunities of New Canaan life.

“This economic development team would help provide a vehicle to make requests for public-private partnerships and initiatives that would help with a marketing campaign,” Murphy said.

Moynihan is hoping to have the group ready by late November and was encouraging residents to volunteer.

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