Pickaway News Journal

Thu, Jul 27, 2017

Citizen input sought to make Circleville 'America's Best Community'

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By now, I hope you've heard the news. The city of Circleville has been elevated to a national stage as one of 50 Quarter Finalists in the America's Best Communities (ABC) competition. More than 400 communities had applied.

This elite recognition is a testament to the progress we've made and to the true public-private partnership that is moving our community forward. Announcements about the competition have been shared here, in the Pickaway News Journal, and we're proudly displaying banners and window decals around town. But what does it all mean?

This summer the Pickaway Progress Partnership (P3) received a competitive planning grant through the competition, which is sponsored by Frontier, Dish, CoBank, and the Weather Channel. The purpose of the grant is to establish a strategic redevelopment plan that outlines a vision, goals and objectives for Circleville to achieve economic prosperity in the next decade and beyond.

The strategic redevelopment plan will not only provide an economic path forward for Circleville. It also will be used by the ABC competition committee as they advance 15 communities to the semi-finalist round, and ultimately award grants of $1 million, $2 million, and $3 million to the competition's three winners. Those selected will most effectively showcase why their community is the best and provide an aspirant vision that is unique and game changing.

That's where you come in.

The intention of the strategic planning effort is to engage citizens, business leaders and community officials to think about where Circleville is today, what has succeeded in the past, and what can set us apart in the future. Our work will be comprehensive, focusing on four vital areas: workforce, downtown, infrastructure, and industry clusters. It will be a 10-year roadmap for success.

We started by hosting a series of focus groups for community leaders. They discussed top economic development priorities and essential resources to keep and attract residents.

Now, we are opening a survey to the public for you to share your opinions and insights. We ask you to take some time to participate. To view the survey, go to pickawayprogress.com to find the link on our home page. The survey will be open until Monday, Oct. 5.

On behalf of Circleville's America's Best Communities team, thank you for being part of what makes this a great place to live, work and do business. We've gone through some rough times, but Circleville is on the path to progress. Our potential is tremendous, and we're eager to show the rest of the nation why we are America's Best Community.

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