As revitalization efforts continue in downtown Florence, community members held a meeting Thursday night to discuss revitalization plans for beyond the city center.
“The only place where we have ever actively engaged in redevelopment was in the downtown,” says Florence City Manager Drew Griffin.”The strategy where we are applying to downtown is identical to the strategy that we are putting into the neighborhoods.”
City officials discussed plans to breathe new life into North Florence, Northwest Florence and East Florence neighborhoods using $3 million. Some call it “seed money,” because it’s money the city can “plant” into neighborhoods to grow businesses and attract new residents.
“With success, you’ll find other avenues of funding,” adds Griffin. “It’s time for the city to step forward.”
Some say they look forward to how the city may transform areas past downtown.
“I applaud the city in trying in their efforts in trying to make difference in neighborhoods that’s either been neglected or forgotten about,” says State Representative Terry Alexander.
To continue that, some say the city will have to work better with banks to give out loans.
“My concern is when the three million dollars go, where do we go from there?” asks James Kennedy, who used to be a homeowner. “What’s going to happen?”