Thursday night, Jim Dittoe of Winning Communities moderated the first of two 4coummunity meetings to gather information about community needs from Clay County residents. The effort to improve Clay County is being led by the United Way of Clay County.
The process is still in the analytical phase, gathering information. The 20 people in attendance were split into four groups of five to brain storm. I had the pleasure of discussing these issues with Sam Crawn, Judy Tribble, Garland Baker and Wilmadean Schepper Baker.
Wilmadean, a resident of Clay County for over 80 years, wrote to Mr. Dittoe after reading The Brazil Times article asking residents to answer the questions posed by the group. She had read an article in USA Today several years ago headlined, "Man Searches for Dream Town". The article said people need to care about their community and their families. It also said "our town" should be picturesque with stately old homes and buildings. Wilmadean believes Brazil is the town people dream about.
Economic development, providing younger people with entertainment, drug education and cleaning up Brazil were some ideas that were discussed to make Clay County a better place. Every group mentioned economic development is an area that is lacking in Clay County.
Mrs. Tribble asked, "What has Greencastle done to attract higher paying jobs that Clay County has not?" No answer came.
If potential industrial leaders would visit the area, they could possibly be turned away by the condition of the streets and properties in the city, Rita Rothrock said.
Another factor that could possibly deter development to the area is the lack of infrastructure development. The I-70 and S.R. 59 area was discussed due to lack of city water and sewage.
The next meeting will be held at First Financial Bank in Clay City, Nov. 30 at 6 p.m.