Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Penn Avenue Project
After researching and working on small town economics for 7 years I have learned a good deal of information that would benefit Robesonia. I have implemented a lot of them through this newsletter. I would have liked to be on the Main Street committee and part of the revitalization plan but I don’t associate with any of those that would have offered that opportunity. It is unfortunate that certain people cannot put aside personal issues and allow others to share in decisions being made in our town. I feel I have a lot to offer on the topic but because I have different views on many subjects, my input was not asked for. I have personally visited many small towns and have spoken to the chairpersons in charge of many Main Street projects. Every town had a drawn and written plan for a 5-10 year project with an outline of the phases. The plan could be picked up at their boro hall and was published on their boro website. I have not seen any published plan for Robesonia. After years of research my course of action would have first been to establish the business district here (which I have). I would hold many meetings with these business owners for their input (which I do) on what would bring them more traffic. What type of décor would be most inviting? What they would be willing to contribute? I would look into selling Shop Robesonia First dollars (yes it is legal) to residents at half price to promote visiting our businesses. I would establish a yearly membership fund for businesses that would include them in a distributed newsletter which consists of our business directory, our public service directory, a calendar of our events and attractions, ads for our events, a website business page, business of the month & eatery of the month. That newsletter would be available at public places and their businesses. Each member would receive a special Shop Robesonia First store plaque. Blue ribbon cuttings would be held for all new businesses. All these things help support the reason for having a “Main Street” and are what the project is intended for. It isn’t just about decoration. We do not need bus stops here at this time. We do not need more benches where nobody sits. We need to keep the businesses we have and offer incentives to invite new ones. We all want our town to look clean (nice trash receptacles would be good) have charm and display our pride with tasteful beautification. With change comes some risk but we have to start at the core and work on a goal that includes growth. I have been doing that. You can trim Robesonia with all kinds of things but if you don’t have the basics of businesses what is the appeal and how will you afford to maintain it? It is in ALL of our best interest to support these small town tradesmen. They are the core of America and our small towns. Every time you ignore them and invest elsewhere when you could spend here we risk losing them. Imagine Robesonia with no business. It can happen and it does when people don’t work together to maintain and rally to support them. If the boro is unwilling to appoint the right people to master that task, maybe I will take it on and add to what I already do.