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Old 08-14-2010, 11:22 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 8,735,734 times
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Seems like you've got a collision between some folks wanting the town to grow to get more money, and folks who want the town to stay small even if it's losing money. I'm sure there is a solution in there mid-way, get enough new money coming in without forcing the town to grow bigger than comfortable. You got tourism, retail, industry and real estate as the big 4 money-makers. Tourism might work to meet both sides - enough money without too much growth. Retail is a little harder unless it's specialty shops or outlet stores. Industry could work if you find the right businesses/products. Real estate probably won't work for both sides since it just makes you another suburban subdivision bedroom.

Revitalization doesn't automatically mean that you must have growth, and growth doesn't always mean revitalization. One town that I lived in was a bedroom for a larger city. They anticipated all sorts of boom and built acres and acres of subdivisions and strip malls... and the city poplation never really swung that way, so now all those buildings are standing empty and things are worse than they ever were before.
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:58 AM
 
Location: 304
5,147 posts, read 6,990,930 times
Reputation: 1714
Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
The project you and the Town Councilman worked on, did you include the neighbors in developing the concept for the project or did you spring it on them? If you did the latter it's no wonder you had pushback. Usually something like that is the subject of small group meetings, public information meetings and other venues over the course of 2 or 3 years. I'm finishing up a property acquisition that will be turned into a demonstration DNR project for a Living Shoreline that I've been working on since 1988. Four Corps of Engineers studies (the project will also address marsh re-vitalization and flood control), three MD DNR studies, four feasibility studies and an incredible amount of community outreach complicated by the fact that people here sell properties like Monopoly cards and we should have all the pieces in place next month. Since 1988, think about that time period. I started on it when I was in my late 30s and I'm now almost 60.
As far as money goes there are literally millions in CDBG funds for those kinds of projects in addition to Corps of Engineers money. And for God's sake you had the King of Pork for your Senator, that project should have been greased from the start. Unless, of course, you didn't start with a basic market study that you would have then used to justify the project.

You may be approaching some of these things backasswards. Plus, you absolutely have to have the buy-in of the residents and the major property owners downtown or all your planning and wishing will be so much air.
Some of the local neighbors felt that the park would create too much traffic on their little street, but that wasn't the majority. We actually askeds around, but the few that didn't support it, went out of their way to ban it. Of course they most certainly have the right and or reason to do so.

About the King of Pork, He had too many bigger projects to work on. LOL
We actually went before the county commission for funding, but they turned us down too because of other priorites.

Another thing is Walmart. They have been interested in the Clendenin/ Elkview area for some time now. mostly Elkview which wouldn't hurt Clendenin in my opinion. But there is a large peice of property for sale by the interstate that has been talked about being developed. The problem is you'd need a new bridge that would span a fair sized creek. By most likely, Walmart won't build in the area for years, due to there recent plans to build a new store in Eastern Kanawha County.

Clendenin is already a retail town, so I'm fine with the idea of "chains". But what I really want is a steady stream of people moving into the area. About 10 miles south in Elkview and Pinch, they have experienced a little growth. Pinch is a bedroom while Elkview is a place for business. Elkview is getting a new Applebees and I think a Peebles, but that area I'd like to see grow more too.
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Old 08-15-2010, 04:59 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
34,454 posts, read 43,293,594 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscross309 View Post
Some of the local neighbors felt that the park would create too much traffic on their little street, but that wasn't the majority. We actually askeds around, but the few that didn't support it, went out of their way to ban it. Of course they most certainly have the right and or reason to do so.

About the King of Pork, He had too many bigger projects to work on. LOL
We actually went before the county commission for funding, but they turned us down too because of other priorites.

Another thing is Walmart. They have been interested in the Clendenin/ Elkview area for some time now. mostly Elkview which wouldn't hurt Clendenin in my opinion. But there is a large peice of property for sale by the interstate that has been talked about being developed. The problem is you'd need a new bridge that would span a fair sized creek. By most likely, Walmart won't build in the area for years, due to there recent plans to build a new store in Eastern Kanawha County.

Clendenin is already a retail town, so I'm fine with the idea of "chains". But what I really want is a steady stream of people moving into the area. About 10 miles south in Elkview and Pinch, they have experienced a little growth. Pinch is a bedroom while Elkview is a place for business. Elkview is getting a new Applebees and I think a Peebles, but that area I'd like to see grow more too.


Ok.
You "asked around"? What you do is develop the concept, somewhat fleshed out but with enough wiggle room you can change details. Have open concept and planning meetings. Have an engineer draw plans (with an alternate or two). Have community planning and introduction meetings. Bring the residents in early, solicit their ideas-if they're good you use them. For those opposed you find out what their main objections are and figure out work arounds: too much traffic? Improve the street. Too much noise? Limit hours of operation. And so on.

You don't go to the County Commissioners cold, you lobby them first, get one of them to be the project's patron at that level. Show them why it's to the County's benefit to have this project go in. Then when you have a majority in favor you make your proposal. Meet with your state and federal representatives (including the Senator) district rep/contact. Make them a patron. HAVE THE PLANS TO SHOW THEM AND A SALES PITCH READY!!!

Scout around for grant money, apply for any that pertain (that's one place the state and federal officials come in handy). Most states have money available for projects that enhance access to something. I'll bet your choice of a wager that WVA DNR (or whatever it's called) has a bunch of money sitting there to put to water access projects. Grants usually come with a local match required and have to be used on the specified project. Have that match ready-it's usually a dollar match (1 for 4, 1 for 2, etc.) but many times you can put what's called "in kind" into the pot. That's the work, planning, property acquisition, etc. the locals have already done and you then need very little additional funding.

Wal-Mart will not be a residential construction driver. What it will probably do is kill what little general merchandise business you have remaining.

You mentioned how the local government celebrates the opening of a Dollar General type store. About 25 years ago in my County here K-Mart opened up a store. The grand opening was invitation only, black tie required.

Last edited by North Beach Person; 08-15-2010 at 05:20 PM.. Reason: added a suggestion
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:54 PM
 
Location: 304
5,147 posts, read 6,990,930 times
Reputation: 1714
Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Ok.
You "asked around"? What you do is develop the concept, somewhat fleshed out but with enough wiggle room you can change details. Have open concept and planning meetings. Have an engineer draw plans (with an alternate or two). Have community planning and introduction meetings. Bring the residents in early, solicit their ideas-if they're good you use them. For those opposed you find out what their main objections are and figure out work arounds: too much traffic? Improve the street. Too much noise? Limit hours of operation. And so on.

You don't go to the County Commissioners cold, you lobby them first, get one of them to be the project's patron at that level. Show them why it's to the County's benefit to have this project go in. Then when you have a majority in favor you make your proposal. Meet with your state and federal representatives (including the Senator) district rep/contact. Make them a patron. HAVE THE PLANS TO SHOW THEM AND A SALES PITCH READY!!!

Scout around for grant money, apply for any that pertain (that's one place the state and federal officials come in handy). Most states have money available for projects that enhance access to something. I'll bet your choice of a wager that WVA DNR (or whatever it's called) has a bunch of money sitting there to put to water access projects. Grants usually come with a local match required and have to be used on the specified project. Have that match ready-it's usually a dollar match (1 for 4, 1 for 2, etc.) but many times you can put what's called "in kind" into the pot. That's the work, planning, property acquisition, etc. the locals have already done and you then need very little additional funding.

Wal-Mart will not be a residential construction driver. What it will probably do is kill what little general merchandise business you have remaining.

You mentioned how the local government celebrates the opening of a Dollar General type store. About 25 years ago in my County here K-Mart opened up a store. The grand opening was invitation only, black tie required.

Well, I guess your right about our approach on building the park. It might have been a little too closed doors between the town council and the people invoveld. But as I mentioned earlier, is was voted down. And it wasn't a big enough project to spark the interests of donations and the grants we applied for. But the park is the least of my worries for the town. What Clendenin really needs is higher education. A small Tech College, or Junior College would offer under class citizens a chance to make a better living for themselves. It would not only increase the standard of living, but employers and business would have a better workforce to hire from. I'm attending WV State anout 35miles away in Western Kanawha County. Alot of the people in this area have attended school there. If WVSU would offer classes in Clendenin, then it would profit them aswell as the town.

That's funny about Kmart

Our Governor sees every "grand opening" as a chace to campain, so when something new happens in the state, you can bet a million bucks that he'll be there. He has probably been on ESPN more than any other politician in the history of sports, because of WVU games
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:25 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
34,454 posts, read 43,293,594 times
Reputation: 44120
To do the Community College thing is difficult, it's not a "build it and they will come" situation. There has to be a demonstrated need (that's established through demand, surveys, and consensus from all the local levels of government). Your County Commissioners will have to be behind it, unanimously over a couple of terms, because they'll probably be called on to provide some funding and maybe public land for the facility.
The WVA Higher Education Commission will have to be convinced that a facility will enhance their program for community colleges, and that can be a hard sell. It would help if you have a major employer pushing it so they could get trained employees from it.
Once again, the best allies you have would be your local State legislators. They can bring the power of their offices to bear on the right people to give it a look and maybe start considering it.

Grants come in all sizes, we got one this year for a parking study-$12K. Another one for $2K came from the MD Dept of Agriculture to help defray costs for our farmer's market. The Living Shoreline project I mentioned before will end up being $6 to $10 million-almost all from the Corps of Engineers, MD DNR and Project Open Space. Direct spending, not grants. That's the "pork" spending everyone complains about, by the way. Senator Mikulski has made the wheels turn on this one the last few years.

I'd be charging about $150/hour for this advice if it was face to face. I'm kidding you, but not really, that's what I'd charge.
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:37 AM
 
Location: 304
5,147 posts, read 6,990,930 times
Reputation: 1714
Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post

I'd be charging about $150/hour for this advice if it was face to face. I'm kidding you, but not really, that's what I'd charge.
and your advice is greatly appreciated. I'd probably pay that because I believe that some of this information could save this town.

You are bringing the true value of City-Data back into play, and that is to help people.

Thank You So Much for your helpful advice. You obviously know alot on the matter, and present it as if teaching it.
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:50 AM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,544 posts, read 26,370,244 times
Reputation: 6283
The sad thruth is the little towns that don't promote themselves and don't want to be forced into the 21st century usually wither and die on the vine. Real estate money goes where the schools are the state money goes to the largest towns whilst the smallest towns in the poorest areas lose. Small business closes, big business moves off shore, parents die and their children move for jobs "somewhere else." Even it doesn't happen, the next 4-lane highway will bypass the little city. The end result is the same. The best bet, I think, is for these small city governments to form a union and jointly promote the city nationally as a retirement or recreation area. Form sister cities coast to coast rather than US city to a noname city overseas. Form a co-op buy in bulk.

Little cities have to help themselves to survive. Start by studying little cities across the US. What are your positives? What are your negatives, can you turn it around? Learn how to write grants. Then learn where the grant money is. Does your town qualify to be included in the US Highways and Byways program?

Got culture and history? Promote it. My neighbor county organized 40 years ago and started a drive through the county in the fall. The twist was for one weekend every year the county turned the clock back to the 1800s. They wore the clothes, illustrated farming with horses and plow, opened the blacksmith museum and made horseshoes, baked pies in brick ovens told the stories of pioneer life and people came. They had a good time, spent tourist dollars and advertised by word of mouth. It was so popular it was extened to two weekends every fall. Traffic on US 24 slows to 20mph these two weekends. the truckers finally stopped whining and now use a different route to bypass the county.
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Old 08-17-2010, 08:56 AM
 
Location: 304
5,147 posts, read 6,990,930 times
Reputation: 1714
Quote:
Originally Posted by linicx View Post
The sad thruth is the little towns that don't promote themselves and don't want to be forced into the 21st century usually wither and die on the vine. Real estate money goes where the schools are the state money goes to the largest towns whilst the smallest towns in the poorest areas lose. Small business closes, big business moves off shore, parents die and their children move for jobs "somewhere else." Even it doesn't happen, the next 4-lane highway will bypass the little city. The end result is the same. The best bet, I think, is for these small city governments to form a union and jointly promote the city nationally as a retirement or recreation area. Form sister cities coast to coast rather than US city to a noname city overseas. Form a co-op buy in bulk.

Little cities have to help themselves to survive. Start by studying little cities across the US. What are your positives? What are your negatives, can you turn it around? Learn how to write grants. Then learn where the grant money is. Does your town qualify to be included in the US Highways and Byways program?

Got culture and history? Promote it. My neighbor county organized 40 years ago and started a drive through the county in the fall. The twist was for one weekend every year the county turned the clock back to the 1800s. They wore the clothes, illustrated farming with horses and plow, opened the blacksmith museum and made horseshoes, baked pies in brick ovens told the stories of pioneer life and people came. They had a good time, spent tourist dollars and advertised by word of mouth. It was so popular it was extened to two weekends every fall. Traffic on US 24 slows to 20mph these two weekends. the truckers finally stopped whining and now use a different route to bypass the county.
Yeah, I can see a joint effort with other small towns. But aslong as it is with a nonprofit org. to another non profit org. Our town government would have a hard time accepting that they need help from an outside source.

Thanks for your help You just gave me a great idea
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Old 08-18-2010, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 8,735,734 times
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Would you be able to set yourself up similarly to Harper's Ferry? Last time I was there, they were doing pretty well with the Historic Tourism and Specialty Crafts trades. The town itself was isolated enough from the trade and tourist area that it didn't bother the residents, but there was enough new money and blood to keep the schools open, etc.

(Granted, I'm not familiar with all of WV and haven't been East in awhile, so HF might not be faring as well these days).
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Old 08-19-2010, 01:31 PM
 
Location: 304
5,147 posts, read 6,990,930 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissingAll4Seasons View Post
Would you be able to set yourself up similarly to Harper's Ferry? Last time I was there, they were doing pretty well with the Historic Tourism and Specialty Crafts trades. The town itself was isolated enough from the trade and tourist area that it didn't bother the residents, but there was enough new money and blood to keep the schools open, etc.

(Granted, I'm not familiar with all of WV and haven't been East in awhile, so HF might not be faring as well these days).
Harpers Ferry has alot more "history" than Clendenin. They have preserved the town as if it was 1840, and it is quite a sight. And it is close enough to DC, that it has a pull from the capital. Clendenin has history, but the remains are little, for example; the first Union Carbide plant was here, but the facilities have been gone for years.

My ultimate dream, is to see Clendenin kinda like HP, but with a more community feal.

But glad you brought up Harpers Ferry! It is my second favorite place on the planet
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