Guest Column: Teamwork=A strong downtown


As my husband and I were exploring the possibility of moving to Danville five and a half years ago, it was not only the wonderful opportunity offered to him to serve as president of Centre College that turned our heads, but the total package: Centre College, Danville and Boyle County.

The listing of Danville as one of the "Top 10 Small Towns in America" helped to woo us to this lovely community. In addition to the College and all it had to offer, we were impressed by the beautiful countryside, the industrial park, Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center, Constitution Square, and the quaint, well maintained Main Street, though the large empty building on the corner of Third and Main concerned us then and it concerns us now.

It has always been obvious to us that what is good for Centre College is good for Danville, and what is good for Danville is good for Centre College. The two are like inseparable Siamese twins. The College without a vibrant downtown can adversely affect the recruiting of prospective students. The city without a strong College is not as attractive to current and prospective residents, businesses and industries.


Plain and simple, a healthy "core community" that includes a vibrant Main Street business community, a regional medical center, and an outstanding smaller college adds significantly to the quality of life for everyone in a community of our size (either directly or indirectly).

Danville's core is what makes Danville unique. It is drawing power! It's a "hook" for visitors, prospective residents, business leaders and industrial leaders who look at the quality of life for future employees and their families. This is not to say that the by-pass and its businesses are insignificant. Careful and prudent management of both areas of our community are extremely important.

Local business men and women, the City of Danville, Boyle County, The Chamber of Commerce, The Convention and Visitors' Bureau, The Industrial Foundation, The Community Development Council and The Heart of Danville are all players in assisting with the unending task of developing and maintaining a vibrant community.

While it is imperative that the agencies function together as a team, each player has a unique position on which to focus. The position assignment of the Heart of Danville is described in its mission statement: "To stimulate the economic vitality of the Central Business District, while protecting the historic integrity of our community."

We and many others have certainly enjoyed the "Heart" sponsored Christmas Parades, the Whimsy Concert Series, the Farmers' Market and the Cruise-ins. As enjoyable as these activities have been, the projects that have excited us the most, and represent what we perceive to be the most beneficial to maintaining a strong downtown, are the new Post Office, faade and streetscape improvements, efforts to revitalization of the Hub/Gilcher properties, and efforts to build a parking garage that, without, would curtail the development of the Hub/Gilcher. As is usually the case, the success of these projects has depended (and will continue to depend) on teamwork and cooperation.

The Heart of Danville has been a key player on the projects mentioned above (and a team captain for many of them). This agency has provided an excellent return on the dollars the city has invested in it. While available funds are limited, I would hope that the City Commission might revisit their proposed 2004-05 allocation to the Heart of Danville, and find some additional funds that should, again, provide a very high rate of return to this community.

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