By ADAM SWIFT
PEABODY — Curt Bellavance sees municipal planning as a way to help improve communities.
As Peabody’s new community development and planning director, Bellavance will be using his knowledge and experience to help better his hometown of 24 years.
“It will be great to be in Peabody,” said Bellavance, who recently resigned as Tyngsborough’s town administrator after he was offered the planning position. “When this role came up, it was perfect for me and my desire to help.”
Bellavance replaces Karen Sawyer Conard, who stepped down late last year to take the top job at the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission. He said he hopes to continue much of the progress Conard made during her seven years, especially in the downtown.
“There’s a lot that’s been done in the downtown, but I don’t want to forget about the Centennial Industrial Park and all the other businesses that have been in Peabody for some time,” said Bellavance.
Retaining the businesses that are already in the Tanner City and bringing in new industry are among Bellavance’s goals.
“There are also the everyday challenges in the community, large and small,” he said. “And the mayor mentioned that he has a list going.”
Before working as town administrator in Tyngsborough, Bellavance was the director of economic and community development in North Andover. He said he took the town administrator job as a way to expand his horizons and try something new.
“I missed the planning aspect, although there was no planner in Tyngsborough and I did work on a lot of the planning projects,” Bellavance said. “I found that was the most enjoyable part of my job, and decided that I would rather do it full time rather than part time.”
Bellavance said he expects to start in Peabody on May 8.
There were about 35 applicants for the position, with a search committee interviewing about a dozen candidates. The full-time position was posted with a salary between $102,000-$112,477.