FREDERICKTOWN — Fredericktown continued on the path of revitalization Tuesday when one of the representatives from Heritage Ohio came to the village to deliver her report after previous visits there.
Frances Jo Hamilton returned to Fredericktown after meeting with merchants, members of the village council, the mayor, citizens, homeowners and various others in a series of visits that started in mid-May.
On May 30, Hamilton said that she would prepare a report of her findings for the representatives of Fredericktown in about 45 days, and Tuesday’s meeting was the time for the presentation.
She summed up her 61-page report in a slide presentation in front of a small group at the Fredericktown High School administration building on Columbus Road and delivered her findings.
The report said that the resource team of four commercial district revitalization professionals had evaluated downtown Fredericktown, presented observations of the relative strengths and weaknesses of the downtown district and made recommendations for improving the downtown area to ensure that everything moved forward in the right direction.
Some of the recommendations that the group suggested were to build a foundation for the organization, establish routine business education opportunities, develop an experience economy that connects with customers in a personal way, and apply creative and critical thinking about the public spaces.
She suggested that Fredericktown focus on the organization and select a good cross-section of the community to form a board and several committees in order to stay on the path to the ultimate goal. The Main Street program usually has a board of directors and several other positions such as executive director, for example, and Hamilton talked about Fredericktown starting to explore those avenues.
She also recommended using more media and social media to feature elements of the village; developing custom experiences in each of the different businesses in the area and doing more critical thinking in regards to the open public spaces in town.
The summary of the presentation was, according to Hamilton, “put yourself in the shoes of the first-time visitor to your downtown. Look at the downtown with a critical eye and ask why things are that way.”