“We’re looking at the city’s comprehensive plan and want to update it and our strategic plan for downtown ..... (and) we just have to persevere and go for it and make things better.”
He revealed, “We’ve established an historic district in a large part of the downtown area .... (and) instituted a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) district. The downtown is included in the TIF district, and funds can be reinvested” there.
Community members were invited to be part of four committees: organization, design, promotion and economic restructuring. Fledderman also invited attendees to share their ideas.
Jaime Mustaine, Tri-State Artisans owner, emphasized, “We talk about tourism, but how do we do that when by noon on Saturday every business but the restaurants are closed? How do we bring in tourism when the community isn’t providing for it?
“After 5 or 6 p.m., there’s nothing going on. We need to be here when people can shop, and they can’t shop when they’re working.”
Jim Fritsch observed, “We could have all kinds of directional signs for downtown, but what do you do once you get here? You have to have more of those storefronts filled before you direct people down here .... as opposed to directing them down here to the asphalt jungle.”
Pepe Paras stressed, “We have a lot of history in regard to what were landmarks at one time. That could be enhanced .... I would like to see money directed to landmarks rather than green space.”
Lamping noted, “We need to look around and see what we already have .... (and) capitalize on what makes us different. If we find out what those things are, we can invest our energy and assets in that.”
Anne Raver recalled, “We put a lot of money into the baseball complex. I think there’s a golden opportunity for us to capitalize on that.” With visitors coming for tournaments, “they may shop, eat and sleep here.”