Virginia Tourism Corporation Marketing Specialist Sandra Tanner will hold an open house from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the Halifax Town Hall at 70 South Main Street.
Anyone in the community is welcome throughout the day to stop by to offer their ideas and share examples about what they would like to see developed in the downtown and throughout the historic courthouse town, (population 1,309), which has served as the County Seat since 1777.
“This is grassroots driven,” said Tanner, “it doesn’t work if the community doesn’t get involved.” Residents, businesses and members of civic organizations located both inside and outside of town are encouraged to participate in this initiative to renew revitalization efforts making Halifax a thriving place to live, work, shop and play.”
According to Tanner, VTC’s partnership marketing role in this process is to listen, encourage open and candid dialogue and then take all of the input from the community to compile comments and ideas gathered.
Later in the summer, a group of “sparkplugs” (15-20 people committed to completing tasks) consisting of business/property owners, residents, and local organizations/groups will be invited to attend a day long planning session to come up with the goals/objectives based on the community’s feedback and vision for Halifax which will become a part of the town’s strategic economic development plan.
Rebecca Rowe, Virginia Main Street program manager with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), has been reviewing the “open house” material and offering assistance as the town rolls out its customized 12-question survey.
Rowe plans to be in Halifax for a time during Wednesday’s community input session at Halifax Town Hall, according to Town Manager Carl Espy.
Anyone who is unable to attend Wednesday’s open house will have an opportunity to fill out a survey online at Survey Monkey, he added.
“We’re finalizing our test online through Survey Monkey one more time today, in order to post the link on our webpage and to send out an email blast to our subscribers, in addition to having the surveys on-hand tomorrow; we will keep the surveys available for the next two-three weeks,” Espy said Tuesday.
Sandra Tanner has offered general guidance for those coming by between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. to share their ideas about the town’s ongoing revitalization.
The topics they will weigh in on include the following:
• What do you want to see developed in your community?
• How do you want your community to look?
• How do you want your community to “feel”?
• What businesses do you want in the town?
• What community do you want to look like? Compare to?
• What does this community have that yours doesn’t?
• What aspects of that community would you like for Halifax to include in its development?
• What activities do you want your community to provide?
The 12 questions on the survey asks the following:
• What three words come to mind when you think about downtown and its commercial districts?
• List the top three issues facing downtown.
• What would you most like to improve downtown?
• Which businesses do you most often patronize downtown?
• What three business types would you like to see within the downtown/commercial districts that are not currently present?
• Do you have an interest in opening a business downtown? If yes, which type?
• What time of day do you most typically do your shopping?
• What day of the week do you most frequently shop?
• Where do you live?
• Where do you work?
• How old are you?
As a Main Street America Affiliate, the town of Halifax is part of a national network of more than 1,200 neighborhoods and communities who share both a commitment to creating high-quality places and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development.