4/28/04 Meeting notes
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Tonya has nearly completed a list of all the businesses in Blossburg,
including maps for each area (north, downtown, south), and has developed
a mailing list with the businesses, Blossburg Improvement Association
members, and Blossburg Borough council & committee/board members.
Mike also made a nice list of community assets.
We discussed the boundaries of "downtown" for the Main St. program's
purposes. The options:
- House's lumber mill to the beer distributor
- House's lumber mill to the beer distributor plus old 15
- Cement bridge to green bridge
- Bear A to green bridge
The concensus was bridge to bridge, but other definitions and opinions
welcome - definitely a topic for 5/12 meeting.
We also discussed the boundaries of our participant/stakeholder area:
- 16912 only
- Blossburg, Arnot, Morris Run
- Blossburg/North Penn school area
This definition would be useful for advertising future meetings and
thinking about the population that our downtown serves. Again, more to
discuss at 5/12 meeting.
Mike made it clear that state and local funding and technical assistance
is available and those key folks are very interested. Blossburg has an
"ideal" downtown set up with lots of services (post office, grocery,
pharmacy, dentist, doctor, fitness center, head start) already in our
downtown, plus plenty of parking, easy walking area. He and/or Tonya
have been in contact with Dept of Community & Economic Development,
TCDC, Northern Tier Regional Development Commission, PA Downtown Center.
We also discussed some other folks we'd like to bring in, Dave Darby and
Denny Murray at Mansfield University, for example.
We reviewed the Tioga County comprehensive plan survey summary. The data
is skewed by the age distribution of the respondents: 36% were retired
at the time of the survey, so we need to make sure that other age groups
get equal input. The major areas of concern for the future: Employment
opportunities/biz development, property taxes, services for elderly,
recreation, and of course, landfills.
A note on property taxes: In Tioga County, property taxes vary
considerably by jurisdiction but every property owner pays three kinds:
county taxes are 3.779 mills, school district taxes (STSD: 11.2, WASD:
8.52, NTSD: 9.325), and local taxes (lowest overall: Duncan Township:
.1, lowest borough: Liberty Borough: 1.3, highest overall: Blossburg
Borough: 6.224). Thus, Blossburg borough property owners pay 21.203,
while our biggest "competition", Wellsboro and Mansfield borough
property owners pay 17.379 and 20.229 respectively. I figured this all
out using Census data and a property tax information sheet that a
realtor gave me. I think it's all 2000 - 2001 data.
We discussed some of the barriers to small businesses moving in to
Blossburg: we have a good amount of retail space available with decent
rents, however, the heating costs are enormous - $800+/mo in the winter.
Mike mentioned that there are rehab matching grants available for both
commercial and residential rentals that we'll need to look into.
Action items (I should have written them all down, I'm sorry I've
- Heidi & Jill: contact all members of steering committee about 5/12 meeting
- Heidi: develop agenda and data for 5/12 meeting
- Tonya: send Jill lists she's developed
- Shane: work on setting up a tour of old theater
- Mike: keep finding information and resources, find data
Invitees: steering committee
Wednesday May 12, 2004
Blossburg Borough council room
Define participation area
Review existing demographic and business data, think about what else we
need to inform the visioning session participants
Define date, start planning logistics for visioning meetings
Develop advertising and outreach strategy for visioning meetings
Elect secretary and treasurer
Please edit/add to/comment on these notes :-)
Heidi I. Jones
Questions Answered. Problems Solved.