Articles

The Tour of Empty Buildings Long Story

I’d like to share the story of one town that suffered a huge economic blow, then kind of got stuck at the bottom, and how they got out. This is Webster City, Iowa, Population about 8,000. It was home to a factory that at its peak employed over 2,000 workers. In 2009, the corporation announced…

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Small steps for downtown placemaking

My friend has written a grant for funding to re-do the bump outs in our downtown as part of a placemaking project.  There will be trees to help cool down the area. They hope to have bicycle racks specially designed as art. Then another friend told me about a small town in Missouri that painted…

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Art and empty buildings

SaveYour.Town received an email with a story about art and an empty building we want to share today. Deb Land, the  Mural Coordinator for Sayre Revitalization in Athens, PA sent this.  You have all been so helpful to our small town of Sayre, PA.  I read your newsletter faithfully!  We have had two successful Pop Up…

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Catch up with Deb at Building Possibility

Hi all, It’s been a while since I’ve shared with you what it is I do, and what’s coming up. There is a lot of work going on in growing the business! Let me catch you up on the last two years. Onsite Visits: I just finished a 2-year onsite project with five counties in…

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Steal these ideas

I went on vacation at Navarre Beach in Florida this year. We found some pretty cool ideas that any small town could steal. My great nephew Steve and his friend Eddie were along for the trip. They were excited to sit in this oversized chair and have their picture taken. Who do you know in…

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Crappy jobs don’t have to be

You all know about workplaces that are crappy. They operate on the old way principle of ‘this is good enough, you’re lucky to have a job.’ The pay isn’t up to par. There’s no real benefit package that includes insurance, 401K, PTO and sick days. Management operates under the fear principle (make everyone afraid of…

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Plant some trees

You’d think planting trees in your small town would be a huge deal and take a ton of time, wouldn’t you? Chad from Lake Francis Case Economic Development in Chamberlain, South Dakota didn’t know that. He found a grant for $2,500 to be used for planting trees. It required a 50/50 match. Chad simply asked…

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Akron Iowa onsite visit update

Several years ago, I was in Akron, Iowa, population 1,558, for an onsite Idea Friendly visit for one week. They’ve been gathering their crowd, building connections, and taking small steps. Their former mayor, Sharon, sends updates periodically. The following is from her latest email update. We now have seven businesses serving food: Casey’s. Chubs is…

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What if you held your meetings outside?

You’ve sat through plenty of board meetings and a few city council meetings. They are held in the ‘official’ locations, with assigned seating (real or imagined) and there’s a course of action you must follow.  What if you moved your meeting outside?  Send the previous minutes and financials out by email ahead of time and…

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Be an Idea Friendly board member

Most of us who actively volunteer and work in a small town will more than likely be a board member of some organization eventually. The first role of any board is the fiscal wellness of the organization. Knowing the mission statement and being familiar with the bylaws, will help guide your decisions. Your job from…

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