Community Forum Sheds Light on Local Issues

Jo Schmeiser CCGM Executive Director

 

The Chamber of Commerce for Great Milford hosted a Community Forum earlier this year, and the results are in. 

Over seventy local non-profit organizations were invited, and along with the Community Forum Committee and several CCGM Board Members, there were close to forty people in attendance.

The forum began with a welcome from CCGM President Fred Rohm.  Fred then asked all attendees to provide a brief introduction of their position and their involvement in the Milford community.  As each participant introduced themselves, they were asked to also voice a primary concern about Milford that they and their organization feel needs to be addressed.  Each concern was written down and duplicate or similar concerns were noted. 

Once all concerns were mentioned, a complete list was developed.  There were twenty-four issues, everything from the need of a convention center to developing abandoned property.

Each participant was given $1500.00 in “Milford Bucs” to vote for what they felt were the most important issues.  Participants were asked to spend a maximum of only $500.00 on one topic.  After the votes were counted the committee created a list of the top concerns, (with a few ties) listed as follows:

  1. Attract higher education
  2. Expand Job Base
  3. Economic Development
  4. Milford homeless
  5. Community calendar
  6. Store fronts as retail
  7.  Non-Profit collaboration
  8.  Retain graduates
  9.  Develop volunteers
  10. Increase public transportation
  11.  High utility expenses in Milford

 

Since the forum, several of the top issues have been addressed. Fred Rohm has contacted all five state higher learning institutions, which was number one on the list.  Most schools responded in a positive manner, and one is even developing a survey.

Several of the issues have been addressed by the newly developed Economic Development Advisory Panel, including expand job base.Fred has contacted two ministers concerning the homeless, feeling this is a good place to start. Bryan Shupe, with Milford Live is developing a calendar of events where organizations can add information on the calendar throughout the year.  Through this opportunity achieving non-profit collaboration will be developed.

The city and Downtown Milford, Inc. are working on attracting more retail stores downtown. Once the job base is expanding, higher education is offered, and economic development is improving, graduates will be more willing to stay in the community.

The chamber is currently reviewing the public transportation concern, and ways to address this issue.

The city continues to review cost saving utility opportunities. The chamber will continue addressing the concerns of the community, and will provide updates.

For more information call the chamber at 422.3344 or send an email request to milford@milfordchamber.com.

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