Partnerships Make Downtown Initiative Possible; Workshops Continue through July

     Downtown Chambersburg, Inc. (DCI) recently received a $15,000 Smart Growth Planning Grant from the Pen-Mar Regional Association of Realtors, Inc., and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) for its Downtown Community Visioning and Downtown Master Plan Update processes. Thanks goes out to local JRG realtor and former Chairman of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce, Adrian Simpson, who let DCI know about the grant’s availability.
When DCI pulled together a stakeholder committee last summer to evaluate proposals to conduct a community visioning process, Wilson College seeded the fundraising effort and got things moving with an unsolicited $5000 donation.
Targeted appeals were made to key employers who have a large employee base in the area. Summit Health contributed $3000. Jessica Walter, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Summit Health says they made a contribution to the initiative because “A vibrant downtown is an asset to the community that benefits both our employees and our patients.”
Subsequent donors came to the table and the fundraising efforts to date have yielded $47,500 with $2500 yet to go.
The power of community has not only helped with fundraising efforts but with stakeholder involvement. Focus groups that include area churches, developers, government employees and property owners have offered invaluable information. Over 300 community members filled out a perceptions survey and over 200 people have participated in the public workshops to date.
The next public workshop is scheduled for Monday, June 16 at 6:30pm at Chambersburg Area Senior High School in the cafeteria. This workshop will focus on identifying strategies to implement the vision. The final workshop will be held at Wilson College in Laird Hall on July 21 at 6:30pm. For more information, contact Noel Purdy, President of DCI at 264-7101, ext. 207 or email npurdy@chambersburg.org.