Rally ‘Round the Flag, Boys…and Girls!!!
This is no time to be falling into disputes that could derail the downtown reconstruction efforts before they get truly off of the ground.
#GarrettsvilleStrong has been up front about the purpose of the financial efforts being made from the very beginning. It’s all about rebuilding, moving on, emerging bigger and better than ever before. It is not , repeat, NOT, intended to compensate the individual owners and/or tenants of the buildings which were destroyed. That is a can of worms (see :Megascolides australis) that no one in their right mind would choose to open when things need to move along with all deliberate speed. Why?
Well, first of all, who and what qualifies? Owners? Tenants? Fully insured? Under-insured? Value of stock? Cost of replacement? Value of the commercial “draw” to the community? Value of the “ambience”? Contribution to the community? When questions like these morph into who likes who better and whose merchandise was cuter, full-scale war fare is likely to break out and the cause of progress takes a back seat, waaaay back.
Second, when is this going to happen? Empty the coffers right away to ease the immediate pain of disaster? Hand out dribs and drabs at a time to whoever has the saddest story (Fierce competition here)? Wait until it’s all rebuilt and help cover the cost of the grand opening? Put it on the village Christmas wish list?
AND…how much? Offer a percentage of the insurance coverage? Equal amounts to everyone? More for property owners? More for business owners? Base the payment on the previous year’s tax duplicate as representative of the business’s contribution to the local economy?
Folks, this way lies madness…not to mention a tidal wave of frustration and hard feelings that would do no one any good and probably negate much of the good will and community feeling that has been evident in the widespread reaction to the event itself and in the way we all carry on as a community. #GarrettsvilleStrong!
If individuals would like to make contribution to the folks, bless their hearts, who lost everything and are only now beginning to emerge from the shock of the actual event to the shock of contemplating what the REAL losses were and what could be involved in coming back, make your directed contributions to the Garrettsville People Tree. Community is the focus there and the burned-out ones are part of our community.
#GarrettsvilleStrong is about REbuilding. It’s about the nuts and bolts, the nitty and gritty, the down and dirty details of what has to come back : parking, fence removal, sidewalks, streetscape, utilities replacement & relocation (underground electrical service would be nice), landscaping, design proposals, architectural features, specific donations and dedications (civic groups and individuals), plenty of things we don’t always think about, but have to BE thought about. And, of course, what’s going to come back in that space?
Here’s where we can all make a contribution. Have you been thinking about having a small business of your own? Might it be a ”niche” business that could draw customers from a wide area for your specific expertise? (Bless you, Shaker Tree. Bless you, Clock Man Bless you, T&B Tools) Do you know someone who fits this description? Have you a hobby or collection that could form the basis of a business downtown? Get thinking, out there! We DO NOT need another place to buy pizza, but a pastry shop might make it, especially if folks could watch the chef make gorgeous icing roses or fabulous brownies or ice cream. Think something connected with the Headwaters Trail. Think about it. Think Chagrin Falls. Think Hudson. Think Garrettsville into the future.
The place has been a commercial hub since its founding in 1804. John Garrett had the foresight to not only bring a mill to serve the local farming community, but to bring a blacksmith, one Abraham Dyson, the equivalent of Lowe’s and Home Depot rolled into one, at the time he came over the mountains from Delaware. The maple syrup business was huge at one time, over 50,000 gal a year by one account. The Root Store (Chic & Shabby building) was the county’s first “department store” in 1850. The village had the first paved main street in Portage County (The mud had got pretty deep in the rainy season—bad for business). This is a village that can think big. Think about it.