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2500 Ideas

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Vivian Moon View Drop Down
MUSA Council
MUSA Council

Joined: May 16 2008
Location: Middletown, Ohi
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    Posted: Mar 09 2017 at 8:32am

2,500 ideas to make Middletown a 21st Century All-American city

Ed Richter

Staff Writer

10:15 p.m Wednesday, March 8, 2017  Middletown



“What if Middletown….?”

That’s the question hundreds of people have pondered as they shared their ideas and ways to improve Middletown as a place to work, live, and play to become “a premier, 21st century All-American city.”

For the past two years, the “What If Middletown” group spearheaded by Middletown Moving Forward and the Community Building Institute along with numerous other local organizations, have been reaching out to all sectors of the community gathering input.

MORE: Road to happiness in Middletown is well paved and leads to Chik-fil-A

Calista Smith, executive director of Middletown Moving Forward, and Karen Maney of the Community Building Institute, shared those thoughts and ideas to Middletown City Council at its Tuesday meeting.

Through surveys and community conversations and forums as well as additional analysis by volunteer work groups, it envisioned Middletown as a “community with civic pride and a welcoming doorstep; diverse and connected neighbors; opportunities for workers and businesses in the new economy; and with access to quality arts, entertainment, education, housing, healthcare, and recreation.”

The vision of becoming a premier, 21st century All-American city came from more than 2,500 ideas generated during the process that were further refined by priority, feasibility and impact by six work teams.

The vision plan was organized into six areas: arts, entertainment, and recreation; education; health, wellness and safety; housing and neighborhoods; jobs, economy and commerce; and transportation and infrastructure.

The common theme throughout the six areas were lifestyle, economic development and civic pride.

The plan also included priority steps and key community partners that were identified in each of these areas. In addition, there were various metrics identified to help measure progress in achieving the plan.

“Some communities allow the future to happen to them, some communities recognize the future is something they can create. These communities take the time to produce a vision of the future they desire and employ a process to help them achieve their goals,” Maney said. “Successful communities understand that the things that they dream about will only come true through great effort, determination and team work. The city of Middletown is one of those communities.”

Among the ideas suggested to achieve this were:

  • opening a dog park and other community-wide gathering places
  • recruiting and hiring a diversity of teachers for city schools
  • eliminating bullying in schools
  • having a top-notch education system from pre-school through college
  • developing strategies to reduce food deserts for senior citizens and lower income families with limited transportation
  • seamlessly connecting the riverfront and the downtown as well as creating activities and entertainment events
  • providing more dining options with restaurants offering healthy choices, ethnic eateries, and ice cream shops
  • continuing community events such as Light Up Middletown and the Ohio Challenge Hot Air Balloon event
  • providing more youth activities in their neighborhoods
  • deploying more resources to help those with drug addiction
  • increasing police patrols and neighborhood watches as well as using cameras and other technologies to deter crime
  • building a community swimming pool

Having well-paved roadways and the infrastructure to support quality housing and commercial development was also key area in the report.

“This report is not to sit on a shelf,” Smith said.

Among the next steps, Smith said a transition committee is sharing the document with various Middletown organizations seeking endorsements and understanding of activities as well as monitoring progress. She also asked council to take a month to review and comment on the document as well as align resources and planning to priorities identified.

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VietVet View Drop Down
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MUSA Council

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 09 2017 at 10:28am
A first step in covering all suggestions mentioned in this exercise would be to lose the infatuation with the downtown area. If the city focused on the entire city as they have the downtown area, and put as many resources toward the development of all areas of town rather than on just one, perhaps more citizens would have benefited by those efforts by now. Instead, we see a total lack of interest or regard for most sides of town and the all encompassing effort made in their pet project. It is not logical nor healthy to concentrate on a part while leaving the vast majority of the city to rot.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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