G’town economic development update

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By Wayne Gates

Economic development was on the agenda at the Georgetown Village Council meeting on August 9.

Doug Moormann and Hank Gerhardt of the Cincinnati based Development Strategies Group spoke to council and gave an update of the firms activities.

The village has contracted with DSG to help come up with an economic development plan.

The biggest news was about possible changes at the former Southwest Regional Medical Center.

“We have reached out to the local hospital networks and have received some interest in reopening the emergency room. We are going to take that interest and follow it and hopefully make something positive happen,” said DSG Vice President Doug Moormann.

Moormann said that the leadership of one of the major local hospital groups was planning to tour the hospital later this month.

He discussed other possibilities with council as well.

“One of the other ideas we are working on is a virtual call center. This means that the call center operators would work from their homes instead of being housed in a central office. This is something that’s happening in that industry,” Moormann said.

He also discussed the first development in the South Afton Industrial Park near Batavia as good news for Brown County.

“We are starting to see that development creep this way toward Brown County. Good news in Clermont County is good news for us. If they get a major manufacturer there, then that opens up opportunities to get suppliers for those operations,” Moormann said.

Gerhardt has been spending time visiting local businesses and hearing about their concerns.

“One of the biggest responses was getting a large retailer like a Wal-Mart so people don’t have to drive to Mt. Orab or further to get those sorts of items. Another response that I heard a lot is bringing in a restaurant that’s not pizza or fast food,” he said.

Moormann also discussed the importance of having land and utility infrastructure in place that would be ready quickly if an opportunity arose.

Another piece of business at the meeting was the passage of a new ordinance designed to cut down on trash and inoperable vehicles in the village.

The ordinance defines an inoperable vehicle as one that could not be operated physically or lawfully on public roads and have remained in that state for 30 days.

The penalty for violation will be a maximum of $150 per day which would be assessed as a minor misdemeanor through mayor’s court.

Enforcement of the ordinance will rest with the village administrator with violators notified through certified letter or personal service.

Georgetown Police Chief Robert Freeland reported to council that his officers investigated 45 incident reports and issued 60 citations out of 134 traffic stops since July 12. 38 charges were also filed against individuals in county court.

The next regular meeting of the Georgetown Village Council will be August 23 at 7 p.m.

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