Meetings Encourage Community Development
Two meetings held recently in Bloomsburg were organized to bring people together to strengthen communities in the region. Representatives of the Town of Bloomsburg introduced themselves and explained their job responsibilities at a meeting held at the Fire Hall in an effort to improve the dialogue with residents and businesspeople. At a public meeting held at The Greenly Center downtown, an individual with two decades of experience as a professional engineer and land-use planner talked about the value of reinvesting in the heart of a community, rather than promote urban sprawl. Both meetings were held the evening of Nov. 7.
With a number of new people in positions with the Town, representatives felt it a good time to host a public meeting to meet with residents and businesspeople. Mayor Bill Kreisher introduced staff members from Town Hall, Public Works, the Fire Department, Police Department, and the Airport, as well as Town Council members. Following brief remarks by each individual, attendees had the opportunity to ask specific questions. A number of the Town’s representatives expressed a desire to make Bloomsburg more business friendly.
Later that evening, Charles Marohn spoke to a full room at The Greenly Center about the economic benefits of concentrating business and residential development within established towns and boroughs. Marohn, who recently wrote the book Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity, provided numerous examples from around the country where the centers of communities provide the highest economic benefit compared to surrounding areas with the lowest costs for public services. Following World War II, development expanded rapidly into suburban and rural areas, resulting in significantly higher costs for infrastructure including roads, water, and sewer service. He encourages communities to make it easier for entrepreneurs to establish and grow small businesses and for people to build affordable housing. Business and community leaders, including the Chamber, will be having follow up discussions on Marohn’s presentation to discuss applications in our area.
The meeting at The Greenly Center was organized by The Exchange and sponsored by DRIVE, Downtown Bloomsburg, Inc., the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation, the Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau, the United Way of Columbia and Montour County, and Community Strategies Group.