Those overseeing the Hometown Collaboration Initiative in Pulaski County may just now be getting their feet wet.
The group is in the process of determining what makes a good quality of place. That category follows a community forum and strong involvement from residents for what they would like to see grant monies used for. The Hometown Collaboration Initiative grant comes from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, and is supposed to serve communities with a population under 25-thousand.
Pulaski County Economic Development Executive Director Nathan Origer says the Oversight Committee largely took the summer off.
“Since then, we have had two meetings in the last month or so getting back on track, reviewing our committee membership and seeing what changes we need to make, what additions we need to make and sort of getting into the nitty-gritty of place-making,” says Origer.
Place-making was selected out of a list of three building blocks for improvement, including: economic development, and leadership.
The committee will be attempting to learn more at a meeting next week to determine what makes an area a quality place to live. That may involve making towns authentic, interesting, and what makes a place feel like home.
Origer says there will be a few more meetings before having an idea for what a place-making project will entail.
“We’ll actually have to develop sort of a plan. And then after the meetings, and after the plan is approved by the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, then we’re sort of on our own to make sure that that gets implemented, that we actually make it happen,” says Origer.
Right now, the committee is looking at public spaces. A project may involve connecting those spaces throughout Pulaski County, and improving them simultaneously.
Origer says the grant is not as simple as picking out a single location to provide large improvements.