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Community members discuss Leavenworth’s potential

Stephanie Taylor Ferriell, Senior Staff Writer, [email protected]

Leavenworth has tremendous potential. That was the consensus of the small group of people who gathered at Breeden Memorial Library July 28 for the first of three scheduled meetings to explore how to promote economic and social growth in the small river community.

The initial meeting focused on community concerns. Many of the issues raised focused on questions those present did not have answers for. Those questions included: What are the boundaries of the town? What area does the old town encompass compared to the new town? Does Leavenworth have zoning? What exactly are those regulations? Who decides what’s allowed to locate in town? What buildings and areas are available for businesses to locate to? Why does the fear of growth and change seem so pervasive?

The participants shared their views that Leavenworth has tremendous natural beauty that can be capitalized upon. The area draws numerous campers and boaters in the summer months, but there are few businesses to serve them.

“Leavenworth is a beautiful town right on the river, but we can’t seem to make a cohesive plan to help us grow economically and population-wise while maintaining its small-town charm,” said Tina Brison, library director. “There are a lot of worries and concerns.”

Those present said some possible businesses that could thrive while benefiting the community might include a grocery and restaurants.

Visitors come to an area primarily for two reasons: for something to do and for food, they said.

Participants noted the good overall appearance of Leavenworth, saying it looks far better than some communities. Still, there’s room for improvement.

Maintaining an attractive town takes commitment and follow-through, they noted, citing a flower bed as an example.

The next meeting will be Wednesday, Aug. 18, at 6 p.m. at the Breeden Memorial Library in Leavenworth. It will focus on community ideas for bringing new businesses and tourism to the town.

The meetings are open to the entire county, not just Leavenworth residents.

“Anyone in the community is welcome, and we’d love to have someone from economic development and representatives of the Leavenworth Town Council and the Crawford County Chamber of Commerce join us and help us make decisions about how to move forward with those ideas,” said Brison.

The meetings are made possible through a grant from the Association of Rural & Small Libraries.

Brison was pleased with the outcome of the initial meeting and hopes more people will join the conversation for the remaining two meetings. The final meeting is set for Wednesday, Sept. 1, at 6 p.m. at the library.

“I was pleased that engaged community members had such an insightful and intelligent discussion about the possibilities in Leavenworth,” she said.

For more information, call the library at 812-739-4092.

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