With Grovetown on the cusp of significant commercial development, Councilman Sonny McDowell would like to see the dormant Grovetown Merchants Association reactivated to become part of that development.
McDowell, association founder and former president, recently sent letters to association members and other potential members hoping to encourage volunteers to lead the group.
"I don't have time to run it anymore," McDowell said, because of obligations as a business owner and Grovetown City Council member. "It needs to be revitalized. I sent that letter out hoping that some leaders can step up."
McDowell said the association was very active for about a year after its 2007 formation. The group put together the 2010 Initiative, which outlined ways to improve the city's commercial corridors. City officials opted to fund the initiative, but they have not implemented the projects or timeline.
Since the city council approval, McDowell said, the association has become less active.
The city has several upcoming projects, and McDowell said area businesses need to have a say in those projects.
Later this year, city officials will draft an Urban Redevelopment Plan that will focus on developing the Grovetown City Center, near City Hall off Robinson Avenue.
The plan will cover rehabilitation of existing properties, redesign of zoning and development of new attractions in the area.
McDowell said that the plan will affect existing and new businesses and that the association is a good vehicle for them to voice opinions to city leaders.
"That's why I want the businesses to be a big part of that, and I don't have time to do it," McDowell said.
"(The plan will include) zoning and all kinds of things that affect businesses, and they need to have a voice."
City officials also will be updating the 20-year comprehensive plan, adopted in 2007, and will develop a five-year work plan.
McDowell said the association has a federal tax ID number and a bank account with almost $2,500.
He'll turn it all over to anyone wishing to step up and reactivate the group.
Anyone interested in joining or leading the group can contact McDowell at (706) 399-3777 or email@example.com.
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