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Traffic alert: Car crash reported in Seymour at the intersection of Route 67 and Main Street.
Energetic Merchants On A Roll In Seymour
by Ethan Fry | Oct 26, 2012 7:43 am
Posted to: Seymour
An Apple Harvest Festival. A hay bale decorating contest. A holiday-themed show at the Strand Theater. A billboard on Interstate 95.
There’s no lack of ideas and events to promote downtown Seymour.
But for the first time on Monday, a newly formed Downtown Committee met with the aim of focusing all of those efforts under a single, coordinated group working with others in town.
The creation of the committee was the No. 2 recommendation of an $18,000 study delivered to the town’s selectmen last month by Planimetrics, an Avon-based consultancy.
Members on Monday discussed everything from big ticket items like a downtown holiday festival to more specific concerns, like the color of the fence surrounding the American Legion property on Bank Street.
The committee’s members are:
- Meg Tarby, who runs the Mad Hatter Boutique on Bank Street and was elected chair of the committee by other members;
- Karen Fisher, a lawyer who has a practice is on Bank Street;
- Jon Szuch, the chairman of the Economic Development Commission;
- Dave Bitso, a member of the Board of Finance and Planning and Zoning Commission;
- Elizabeth Conrad, a Town Hall employee.
Selectmen charged the committee “to study, preserve, and enhance the function, public safety, and livability of the downtown area” by coming up with ideas and making recommendations to selectmen.
The full list of roles the selectmen want the committee to fill is embedded below. Article continues after the document.
Though the Downtown Committee will be the focal point for such efforts, members on Monday stressed the need to involve everyone throughout town to be part of the process.
“We do have our work cut out,” Szuch said. “All the commissions have to push very hard on these things.”
By the committee’s next meeting, scheduled for Nov. 5, members said they hope to nail down ideas for a consistent “branding” message — like the “Connecticut’s Best Kept Secret” tagline of the Shops at Seymour downtown merchants organization. “Connecticut’s Prettiest Little Downtown” was another idea.
During a meeting at which every vote taken was unanimous, there was actually some difference of opinion over how consistent the town’s messaging should be.
Fisher, for example, said the town should use the same branding as the Shops at Seymour, which will be advertising on an I-95 billboard, to create a consistent message.
“I know this (committee) isn’t the Shops (at Seymour), but everyone should be using the same tagline,” she said.
Szuch disagreed, pointing out that signage downtown will speak to a different audience than a billboard on I-95.
“I don’t think you’re going to want ‘Connecticut’s Best Kept Secret’ down there on Route 67,” Szuch said. “However, I have a concern about ‘Connecticut’s Prettiest Little Town’ when we’re taking a look at the lumber yard (and) the wire factory.”
The group also plans to raise about $1,100 by helping to coordinate a holiday festival beginning Nov. 24 and ending with a “Christmas on Main Street” show.
“It is a two-week series of events downtown beginning with ‘Small Business Saturday’ and it would culminate with a live theater show at The Strand on Dec. 8,” Tarby said. “The idea is to get the businesses downtown to participate as well and run their own small events, all in all driving traffic to the downtown area.”
The committee will meet on the first and third Mondays of every month at 5:30 p.m. in Town Hall.
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