Page 9 - Salem Magazine Spring 2015
P. 9

                                  Inside City Hall
Kevin’s Corner
Kevin Boggess - City Manager 375-3016
Check it out:
    When people think of Salem the first thing they think of is often something in our downtown. Maybe it’s the Farmers Market, or their church. Maybe it’s Roanoke College, or a favorite restaurant. Perhaps it’s the Christmas Parade, or Olde Salem Days. The fact that these things come so readily to mind illustrates the central role that downtown plays in defining the character of our community. Downtown is where Salem began, but how can we build on the fantastic assets we have in order to ensure that Downtown Salem is vital for the future?
         Salem already has a great downtown, and the city has worked hard over the years, with many partners, to foster the vibrant environment that we have. Our downtown is safe, clean, and filled with some of the best shops, restaurants, and businesses to be found in the Roanoke Valley. It’s the home of many non-profit organizations, governmental institutions, and of course a liberal arts college. But what more can it be? What role will it play in our region as we move deeper into the 21st Century? How will our children, and young adults, the knowledge workers of tomorrow, use our downtown? What community needs will it be called upon to fill?
 Last fall the city began a planning process to help answer these questions. Since then we have engaged citizens, business, and other partners throughout the city to help us think of ways to improve downtown, ways to take it to the next level. The discussion has been very productive, and has involved ideas about placemaking, outdoor dining, special events, and ways to improve the look of the streetscape. The end product of the process will be a plan which outlines specific steps that our community can take to guarantee that downtown has a bright future ahead and that it will remain a destination of regional significance, that it will be type of downtown our community desires it to be, and that it deserves.
Downtown Salem’s Main Street is a focus of the Downtown Plan.
 Development of the plan will continue through the end of 2015. We have set up the website to keep citizens informed about the process, and will be updating it periodically. On that site you can find the project timeline, a link to our retail survey, and other ways you can provide input and help us decide the future of Downtown Salem. A first draft of the plan is expected to be presented to the public early this fall at an open-house style meeting, and adoption is expected in early 2016. We welcome your input.
Stores like this antique shop are one of many in downtown Salem.
   Citizens and city officials met in February to talk about what they would like to see downtown. We need more of your input. | SPRING 2015

   7   8   9   10   11