“New Richmond is ready to explode, it only needs the right fuse to ignite it.”
These were the words spoken by New Richmond resident, councilman, and former mayor Nick Wolf at the village’s third economic development meeting Nov. 18.
For six months, village residents have been formulating plans to locate that fuse and revitalize the village with an explosive economic development plan.
In July, the initiative kicked off with a public meeting; the newly-formed economic development steering committee introduced the project and solicited ideas and suggestions from the public at that time.
The second phase of the initiative was to have those concerned residents (some 30 in all) volunteer and sign up for seven areas of public interest and expertise.
“There were seven action-oriented committees that people signed up for back in September,” said economic committee member and village councilman Ray Perszyk. “Today those committees are meeting, discussing tangible ideas, strategies, and approaches; a spokesperson for each group will then be presenting those ideas to the rest of us.”
The seven committees that met in small groups of four and five – referred to as buckets of opportunities – are recreation, history, culture, business, education, finance and administration, and other opportunities.
Each committee was instructed to create a five-year plan by making concrete decisions on which specific tasks and initiatives to pursue, prioritize those tasks in terms of importance, and then designate individuals to work on those tasks.
In his presentation at the meeting, committee member and resident Chris Smith said that the most effective way to revitalize the village was to develop and implement a community development economic plan that will showcase its historical heritage, its attractive features, and its river venues; and then leveraging the village’s position along the Ohio River and the proximity to downtown Cincinnati and the surrounding areas.
“This will attract new businesses and get people back in the village,” he said.
Each group also formed a plan of action on how to involve friends and neighbors.
“We know that New Richmond has an extraordinary talent pool,” said Perszyk. “We just need to identify that pool and then utilize those specialized home-town resources.”
“Things went great today,” said Perszyk. “We are finally focusing on things that we can achieve short term. We are moving forward, we still have momentum, and people are still enthusiastic after six months of hard work.”
The next step in the economic initiative will consist of branding the concept and marketing the specific ideas to the community for long term economic development.
“The economic revitalization of New Richmond is still very much a work in progress,” said Perszyk. “But we are all absolutely confident that we can achieve our ultimate goals of positive economic growth; the fuse is lit.”