Albany Revitalization effort continues to move forward

Posted November 1, 2017 at 9:07 am

The plans for revitalizing the total “downtown” area of Albany are still in full swing following the second meeting of the group spearheading the effort on Tuesday of last week.

The first meeting gave those who attended a basic rundown of plans to do several things in the county in order to make it more appealing and more “user friendly” to those who live in Albany and for those who come to visit from out of town.

The major objective of Tuesday’s meeting was to designate sub groups to handle different aspects of the revitalization process.

Clinton County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences Christy Guffey facilitated the meeting and it was quickly noted that the group should be called the Albany Revitalization Committee instead of calling the project “Downtown Revitalization.”

The discussion that followed led to the common conception that the term “downtown” in Albany was often considered to be the courthouse square area, while in fact, this effort includes a much broader area across town.

“It’s a continuous area,” David Cross said. “You will get a lot more people involved if you spread it out a little.”

Events are already in the works for the upcoming months that will feature the location as the center point of the effort..

“During the first meeting we spent some time brainstorming about what we were really proud of about our community,” Guffey said. “We were looking at the new farmers market as being an anchor for some events.”

Guffey said since the end game will cover more than just what is around the square, a different name for the group was recommended to keep confusion down.

The whole process is centered around the construction of a new farmers market located in the vacant lot just north of the Clinton County News with Albany Building Center located on the other side of the facility.

“I think everybody here has a vested interest in making our community the best it can be,” Guffey said. “I’ve been around for a long time and had a lot of group meetings and this is probably one of the most diverse group meetings we’ve had and I’m proud about that.”

During the meeting, people who were present signed up for different aspects or different committees in order to get several ideas off the ground and running.

“We have a group dedicated to starting a December event,” Guffey said. “We have started a sub-committee in the arts and beautification area, so we are getting the ball rolling.”

One of the biggest concerns was getting an event up and running before Christmas. City Councilwoman Tonya Thrasher has taken it upon herself to get that committee together and try to bring an event together that will get involved residents from across the entire town.

The next Albany Revitalization meeting will be on Thursday, November 30 at 5:30 p.m. at Albany City Hall. Everyone is invited to attend.