The Outdoor Town Action Team (FCOTAT) met on September 1, 2022 at Elegante’s Restaurant and Pizzeria, Forest City. During the year-long Outdoor Town program, the FCOTAT established 8 Goals, also known as Action Items for Forest City and the surrounding area. These Action Items were identified as top priority by the Forest City community. Listed below are the Action Items and a summary of FCOTAT efforts for each to this point.
September meeting highlights include the following:
• Goal: Improve Main Street – Improve Building Facades.
Gus Fahey reported that the façade program had 23 applicants initially apply and 8 with full applications as of mid-September. Thank you to Gus of Valley in Motion for heading this project. Gus is assisted by a three-member team, including the FCOTAT Committee Chairperson, Katie Zefran, who will help determine recipients.
• Goal: Improve Main Street – Create Murals.
The first mural has been completed and was dedicated at Forest City’s Trail Town event on August 6th. Kudos to all those involved to bring the beautiful mural to Main Street. The FCOTAT intends to identify resources and grant opportunities that can support bringing more murals to town and the D&H Trailheads.
• Goal: Improve Main Street – Enhance streetscape to include bike racks, planters, and street trees.
Planters and flowers were planted at the beginning of the summer thanks to assistance from the Mountain View Garden Club and donation of flowers and materials from Blueberry Hill Farm Greenhouses. Katie Cicilioni, FCOTAT member, GFCBA Secretary and President of the Mountain View Garden Club, oversaw the project with assistance from MVGC members, GFCBA Members and Main Street neighbors. Main Street business owners were asked to assist with maintaining the flowers during the summer. The Center Street Park Project has gained a little momentum. A local resident has volunteered to be on the team to help create the Park. The Marywood University architecture program has not yet responded to a request to review the project. It was suggested that Johnson College may also be a positive resource for project assistance as well. The FCOTAT anticipates to partner with FC Parks and Rec to collaborate on this project.
• Goal: Build Business and Community Development by recruiting investors/developers for new retail, unique shops, restaurants and lodging.
No information to report at this time. The FCOTAT would appreciate anyone interested in assisting with this initiative to reach out to us. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
• Goal: Connect Outdoor Assets – Create safe bike/pedestrian routes.
It was noted that PennDOT has not yet released the Multi-modal grant for sidewalks. The intention for this grant application would be to connect Erie Street and Main Street. Application for this grant will be evaluated by the FCOTAT when it opens.
• Goal: Undertake Marketing – Market Forest City as a Trail/Outdoor Town.
The GFCBA remains a supporting entity for this action item. The 2022-2023 Forest City Brochure and Map are available, with nearly 3500 of the 5000 printed for this year distributed to date. The GFCBA intends to print an additional 2500 for 2023 with the support of grant funding. The GFCBA also maintains a professionally managed website and social media, highlighting member businesses, area attractions, and events.
•Goal: Connect Outdoor Assets – Create better connections to allow snowmobilers off-road access to downtown restaurants & Turkey Hill
No information to report at this time. The FCOTAT would appreciate anyone interested in assisting with this initiative to reach out to us at email@example.com
• Goal: Enhance Erie Street and Forest City Trailheads.
The FCOTAT was granted permission by the Borough at their September meeting, to apply for the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau Room Tax Grant. The grant funds earmarked to introduce the beginning of a “sculpture trail” from the Forest City Trailhead. The sculpture will mark the Wi-Fi available at the trailhead. Long-range plans encompass a series of sculptures, placed through town. An artist and design have been agreed upon for this initial project. The Greater Forest City Business Alliance has graciously agreed to collaborate and support this project with matching grant funds, not to exceed 25% of the awarded funding. $7000 will be the asking amount for the grant.
The Erie Street Trailhead Welcome Arch project has not had further progress at this time. However, the FCOTAT is working with students from Forest City Regional and Career Technologies along with Rail-Trail Council to complete this project.
The FCOTAT spent the final portion of September’s meeting discussing the importance of reaching out to Forest City’s Main Street business owners to further clarify the committee’s role and intention with projects to support our commerce. The team agreed that a presentation and Q & A session would serve best to accomplish face to face communication. The presentation will be scheduled after the holiday season into 2023. Prior to the presentation, an invitation will be sent via mail and email.
The Outdoor Town Action Team conducts its meetings the first Thursday of each month at Elegante’s starting at 6 PM. The next meeting will be Thursday, October 6, 2022. We invite interested members of the community to attend. For further information or questions please contact Juliann Doyle, Board Member at 570-499-4908 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All are welcome!