BY DAN TAYLOR, ENERGIZING ENTREPRENEURIAL COMMUNITIES PROGRAM COORDINATOR, THE HUB
“We knew it had to be the community’s project for it to have any transformational value,” said Jim Russell in a recent interview with the Beckley Register-Herald.
Jim is the president of Alderson Main Street, a group that leveraged funding through the WV Community Development Hub and the state Development Office to create the town’s Strategic Riverfront Enhancement Project.
As the winner of 2016’s Bucks for Bright Ideas funding competition, part of The Hub’s Innovation Acceleration Strategies (IAS) program, the Riverfront Enhancement Project is now in full swing.
The $5,000 prize through IAS, along with with an additional $5,000 match from the town, is being used toward building concrete pads, with concrete steps, on the riverbank adjacent to the pedestrian bridge in Alderson.
The funding through IAS was also used as a match to receive an additional $8,500 Flex E Grant from the state Development Office to hire consultant Downstream Strategies to fully develop a Strategic Riverfront Enhancement Plan to be used into the future.
According to Jim, “[The concrete pads] will make the river seem more accessible to residents and guests, and more an integral part of the community. Our vision is that people will sit at either the lower or the upper patio, relax and appreciate the river as a significant local amenity, and come to understand that our primary civic asset, the Greenbrier River, makes Alderson a nice place to live or visit. The project is a piece of the larger Strategic Riverfront Enhancement Plan that, hopefully, will be implemented over a multi-year period.”