New Richmond is taking decisive action to ensure the future economic success of the Village.
More than 100 concerned New Richmond residents, business owners, and Village officials attended the New Richmond economic development kick-off meeting held at the Boys and Girls Club July 13.
For the past several months, a steering committee has been developing a working plan to revitalize the village and to take full advantage of the many benefits that the riverfront has to offer.
“Without the past and the present, the future makes no difference at all,” said Village council member Ray Perszyk. “And that it why we gather here today. We are talking about our future. We are talking about ways to revitalize and revive this great town that we live in.”
The New Richmond Economic Development Steering Committee is made up of Perszyk, UC Professor of Strategic Planning and Front Street resident Dr. Clark Lawrence, and Renaissance New Richmond and Team Coordinator Jill Cochran.
According to Perszyk, the first step that the steering committee has been working on in starting the project has been to define the goals to the residents, the business owners, the school board and administration, the village government representatives, the state and county officials, and all other interested parties.
New Richmond administrator David Kennedy said, “You are here tonight because you share a passion for the village. Working together, the power of our people will certainly accomplish our goals.”
Lawrence outlined the goals that the steering committee had set. All of the goals, which the committee feels are attainable, deal with the theme of Village renewal.
“We have come up with a new mission statement,” said Lawrence. “It is to fully leverage the resources of the riverfront and historic downtown New Richmond to create a major regional recreational, cultural, leisure and entertainment center to improve the quality of life, and create wealth and employment for the people of New Richmond.”
The steering committee solicited advice from other area communities, including Cincinnati, Over-The-Rhine, Mt. Washington, Baltimore, and Northern Kentucky.
“We have our work cut out for us,” said New Richmond Mayor Terry Durrette. “We have two options. We can do nothing or we can move aggressively and decisively on this economic development plan.”
“The economic development objectives I feel we should have in the Village are to have, maintain, and promote a positive corporate identity that positions the village as a business-friendly town with a secure quality of life, create employment opportunities suited to the local labor group, expand the tax base, support small business development, expansion, and retention, and attract social, environmental, and economic investment.”
Dr. Lawrence said that participation and education will be the key to this ambitious endeavor and encouraged residents to give feedback, present ideas, and volunteer their time and services.
“Tonight is only the first step. Our only goal this evening was to introduce the project, and inform residents of our preliminary conclusions. We need everyone’s help,” he said. “This Village has a heart and soul and it is time that we take these matters into our own hands. It is time for a “new” New Richmond. As our new village motto states, we have had a colorful past, now it is time for an even brighter future.”
The next step in the revitalization effort for the village will be held at the Boys and Girls Club Sept. 7 (tentative). At this meeting, committees will be formed, decisions will be made, timelines will be finalized, and the work on restoring future economic success will commence.