The possibilities for development are great
Tuesday, January 21, 2014 9:00 PM
I am really excited about the possibilities surrounding the new 4-H fairgrounds. Here is why.
Frank Phillips is a reporter for The Paper of Montgomery County. He has spent many hours covering the 4-H fairs in Montgomery County and in other places. As a member of Alamo Christian Church, Crawfordsville Rotary and other organizations, he has had experience planning various events and then hearing people say, "There's nothing to do!" He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Montgomery County needs to be about development and that is what the new group, Destination Development, promises. It is a group of people who have the authority to make the new 4-H fairground and the surrounding area into a true destination for tourists, if they will exercise that authority.
We are told city government, county government, business and 4-H Inc. are working together. That is terrific!
We need dollars coming into Montgomery County. Too many of us remember the good times and are content to just talk about them and see only a dim future. We have lost industry and that has translated into fewer good jobs that provide the amount of income needed to support our retail businesses.
I remember the gentleman who approached the Board of Works and asked for permission to park his moving van on a city street while they loaded up.
The man and his wife were both solid citizens, active in the community. They were people who contributed to the community in many ways.
"If you can find me a good job in town, I'll stay," was his comment, paraphrased.
How will Destination Development help?
The more people who come to Montgomery County for 4-H or visit an event at an arena in the area of the new fairgrounds, the better chance outsiders will come to understand how great a place Montgomery County is and that can only help efforts to bring industry here.
Another reason I'm excited about the possibility is that the 4-H board is seeking the opportunity to partner with other leadership groups in the county. For too long - a decade by one estimate - the idea of building a new fairgrounds has remained an idea. It has never gained enough traction to advance the project.
We need a new 4-H fairgrounds. Although the number of 4-H members continues to grow, the fairgrounds remains landlocked in a residential neighborhood. Is that bad? It is if there is not plenty of room for 4-H to do what it needs to do to meet the needs of its members. Obviously, the board members would like to see the new fairgrounds built. That's why they unanimously voted to partner with Destination Development.
Another reason I'm excited about Destination Development is that old bugaboo - "There's nothing to do."
I'm convinced that complaint can be answered by listing all the museums, all the organizations' activities, all the movies at the theater, all the plays at the Vanity, etc. Yet, it would be nice to attract people to a new venue on the north side of town for a wide variety of events. We might even get some folks from Lafayette to come here for a change!
Anyway, that's why I'm excited and I wish the people in Destination Development well in their project.