V.I.B.E. Members Complete Pennsylvania Downtown Center Trainings

To fullfill part of the requirements of the Department of Community and Economic Development grant, several V.I.B.E. members attended trainings offered by the Pennsylvania Downtown Center on the four aspects of Main Street revitalization. Carol Tama attended the session on organizational development, Heidi Jones and Jill Nickerson attended the session on design, Tonya McNamara and Bev Jones attended the economic restructuring session, and Bev also attended the session on promoting the downtown area.

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BLOSSBURG V.I.B.E. AWARDS TWO GRANTS FOR FAÇADE IMPROVEMENTS

BLOSSBURG V.I.B.E. AWARDS TWO GRANTS FOR FAÇADE IMPROVEMENTS

Ray Davis, First Baptist Church benefit from grant program

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BLOSSBURG, April 18 – Blossburg V.I.B.E. (Visions in Business and Entertainment) awarded grants Wednesday to Blossburg Main Street property owners Ray Davis and the First Baptist Church of Blossburg for improvements to facades of their buildings at 314 and 213-215 Main Street, respectively.

“Ray’s Service Center is now a vibrant, inviting building as you enter downtown Blossburg” said V.I.B.E. president Beverly Jones. “The new siding and porch on the storefronts and apartments owned by the First Baptist Church really change how the downtown looks. V.I.B.E. appreciates the time and money they’ve spent to make this happen.”

The grant money was provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development as part of its New Communities Main Street program which seeks to revitalize Pennsylvania’s downtown areas through a four-point approach that encompasses design (such as the façade restorations, parking, signage and streetscapes), promotions, economic restructuring and organization. Blossburg V.I.B.E. has been awarded $65,000 for planning and façade improvement grants since April 2005.

Blossburg V.I.B.E. awards matching grants to property owners who have completed historically appropriate renovations to the façade of a building, up to $3,000 per storefront. The design guidelines were developed by the design team in conjunction with Larson Design Group of Williamsport.

Ray’s Service Center and The Small Mall join prior award recipients Jill Nickerson’s Toddler University Preschool & Daycare, Inc., Shane Nickerson’s building that houses the Window Box Flower Shop, Ben Jones’ building occupied by Headz Up styling salon, and Pat & Doc Ollock’s building rented by Laurel Health System’s Blossburg Head Start.

Ray’s Service Center at 314 Main Street has new garage doors, new corrugated siding, new doors, red and white paint scheme and new signage.

The building at the corner of Hannibal and Main Streets, owned by the First Baptist Church of Blossburg, houses The Small Mall, owned by Linda Shypulefsky and several apartments. The church invested in new siding, a new side porch and new lighting for the building.

Blossburg V.I.B.E. (Visions in Business & Entertainment) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created in 2004 to envision, plan and implement projects that will enhance the quality of life for those who live, work, play or attend school in Blossburg. More information about V.I.B.E. can be found at www.blossburg.org/vibe.

For information, applications or assistance, please contact Bev Jones at 570-638-2763 or jonesbev@gmail.com.

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Blossburg VIBE Holds Environmental Fair

Blossburg V.I.B.E. held an Environmental Fair Saturday, Nov. 17 at the Blossburg Memorial Library. Approximately 50 people attended from as close as Blossburg and as far as Brookfield Township. Most brought items to be recycled by Northern Tier Solid Waste Authority, including computer parts, magazines and textiles. Nearly 3,000 pounds of materials were collected for recycling. Lynne Graham of Middlebury won the door prize, a bag of environmentally safe cleaning products from Shaklee Corporation donated by Shaklee distributor Heidi Hickok. Picture 1: Del Kirkendall of Arnot recycled computer parts with the help of Donald Kurzejewski from NTSWA. Picture 2: Two of Ivan and Rose Erway’s children made trailmix at the booth of Mansfield University’s Environmental Awareness Club with the help of the club’s representative, Elizabeth Lloyd.

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BLOSSBURG V.I.B.E. AWARDS TWO GRANTS FOR FAÇADE IMPROVEMENTS

July 17, 2005

BLOSSBURG V.I.B.E. AWARDS TWO GRANTS FOR FAÇADE IMPROVEMENTS

NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Heidi I. Jones
570-638-2486
heidi.i.jones@gmail.com

or Jill Nickerson
570-638-3459

BLOSSBURG V.I.B.E. AWARDS TWO GRANTS FOR FAÇADE IMPROVEMENTS

BLOSSBURG, Nov. 18 – Blossburg V.I.B.E. (Visions in Business and Entertainment) awarded grants Wednesday to Blossburg Main Street property owners Stephen (“Doc”) and Pat Ollock and Jill and Shane Nickerson for improvements to facades of their buildings at 228 and 242 Main Street , respectively.

The grant money was provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development as part of its New Communities Main Street program which seeks to revitalize Pennsylvania’s downtown areas through a four-point approach that encompasses design (such as the façade restorations, parking, signage and streetscapes), promotions, economic restructuring and organization. Blossburg V.I.B.E. was awarded $30,000 for planning and façade improvement grants in April.

Blossburg V.I.B.E. awards matching grants to property owners who have completed historically appropriate renovations to the façade of a building, up to $3,000. The design guidelines were developed by the design team in conjunction with Larson Design Group of Williamsport.

“We’re excited to be moving forward with this program and are very pleased with the success of our first award recipients. The Ollocks and the Nickersons are leading the effort to beautify Main Street and bring more attention to Blossburg,” said V.I.B.E. president Heidi Jones. “V.I.B.E. appreciates the time and money they’ve spent to make this happen.”

The Ollocks recently completed extensive renovations to the interior and exterior of their building at 228 Main Street , which now houses the Blossburg area Head Start program of Laurel Health Services. The façade renovations included redesigning the entry way, painting, cleaning and preserving original corrugated and plate glass windows, removing small basement windows and replacing them with architecturally appropriate wood panels. The Ollocks also plan to install an awning over the entryway.

The Nickersons painted the front of their building at 242 Main Street with an historically appropriate color scheme that highlights the fancy details of the late Victorian architecture. They also cleaned and restored the door and windows of the structure that were damaged in a fire in July 2003.

Blossburg V.I.B.E. (Visions in Business & Entertainment) is a nonprofit organization created in 2004 by the Blossburg Borough Council and Blossburg Improvement Association to envision, plan and implement projects that will enhance the quality of life for those who live, work, play or attend school in Blossburg.

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Blossburg V.I.B.E. Team News

April 20, 2005

Farmer’s Market and Sleezy BBQ Welcome Spring

Greet spring and support V.I.B.E. Saturday, April 30: The Farmers’ Market sets up at 8 am and the chicken, barbecued by Sleezy Construction, will be ready at 10:30. Dinners are $6, halves $5 and come with a half a chicken, baked beans, macaroni salad and a roll. V.I.B.E. members will be available to answer questions.

The Farmers’ Market team is ready to tackle its second year with new vendors and crafters setting up at the Riverside Plaza every Saturday morning, 8 am – 1 pm, beginning April 30. Vendors pay $5 for the season to participate. For more information, contact team lead Tonya McNamara, 570-638-3112, mcnamara@epix.net.

Blossburg V.I.B.E. Accepts $35,000 in State Grants…

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development recently awarded Blossburg V.I.B.E. $30,000 for its downtown storefront improvement project. The money is through the department’s New Communities program and also enrolls V.I.B.E. in the Main Street Affiliate program with the Pennsylvania Downtown Center. V.I.B.E. will be also eligible for $25,000 per year for the next three years to continue the storefront project.

In addition, Pennsylvian State Rep. Matt Baker (R-Tioga) worked with V.I.B.E. to acquire an additional $5,000 DCED grant for program planning and further organizational development needs.

… And Unveils Artist’s Vision for Downtown

The east side of Main Street between Carpenter and Hannibal streets is the focus of the first two years of the storefront project. Local artist Sarah Gilkinson created a rendering of what the storefronts could look like if restored, online at http://gallery.insanart.com/blossdesign or on display at 248 Main Street or .

Each storefront owner is eligible to receive up to a $3,000 grant for restoration of the historic look of the building if the owner spends at least $6,000, submits plans to the V.I.B.E. design team and adheres to the guidelines developed by Larson Design Group in conjuntction with the V.I.B.E. deisgn team, DCED and the Pennsylvania Downtown Center.

V.I.B.E. design team members are available to assist with creating plans and submitting the application. For copies of the design guidelines and grant application contact Heidi Jones, 570-638-2486, hij@blossburg.org. For application and planning assistance, contact Heidi, or Shane Nickerson, 570-638-2586/2005, nickerson@epix.net. The V.I.B.E. design team creates ways to get Blossburg’s downtown area into top physical shape with facade, lighting and other physical improvements.

DCED: www.inventpa.com * Pa. Downtown Center: www.padowntown.org * Larson Design Group: www.larsondesigngroup.com * Rep. Matt Baker: www.repbaker.com * Sarah Gilkinson: www.insanart.com

More team news…

The communications team has been busy working on advertising for the fast approaching Coal Festival. We have also been brainstorming on ways to increase the amount of press coverage that V.I.B.E. receives in the local media. The communications team provides support for other V.I.B.E. action teams. Upcoming projects for the communications team include designing a new Blossburg sign and conducting a traffic survey to determine which entrance to town makes more sense for the sign, as well as designing a logo for V.I.B.E. For more information contact Annie Metarko, ametarko@chilitech.net , 570-638-3686.

The Victoria Theatre team, led by Shane Nickerson, is investigating the feasibility of reopening the movie theater which has been dormant since 1975. For more information, contact Shane Nickerson at nickerson@epix.net or 570-638-2005.

The Old Town Hall team is evaluating the restoration of the former Blossburg Borough building which has been vacant since 2004. This unique building celebrates 105 years in 2005. The team is researching ways to restore and rehabilitate the building and return it to its role as a cornerstone of downtown Blossburg, and is collecting historical information and photographs. For more information, contact Lonny Frost, 570-638-2861, poorcartoonist@yahoo.com.

The administration team coordinates meetings, grants, databases and other organizational infrastructure. The team successfully wrote the DCED grant. Blossburg V.I.B.E. is not just a word it is a feeling you get when you participate at the meetings or when you see the new look of our Main Street. Come and feel the V.I.B.E.!

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BLOSSBURG SEEKS VENDORS, COOKS FOR OCTOBER FEST

September 20, 2004

BLOSSBURG SEEKS VENDORS, COOKS FOR OCTOBER FEST
Saturday, Oct. 9, 11 am – 5 pm, Riverside Plaza

BLOSSBURG, Sept. 20 – The Coal Festival Committee and Blossburg V.I.B.E. are seeking vendors to set up craft, sales and information booths, and cooks to participate in a food festival during Blossburg October Fest, Oct. 9, 11 am – 5 pm, in the Riverside Plaza parking lot.

Individuals, businesses and organizations are welcome to set up booths for crafts, games, information, sales, membership outreach, election campaigns or other activities. For more information about the booths or October Fest, contact Kathy Pearson, 570-638-0274.

In conjunction with October Fest, Blossburg V.I.B.E. is sponsoring the new Nations of Blossburg Food Festival from 12 pm to 2 pm. Organizations and individuals are welcome to enter any dish but particularly encouraged to submit food representing a nationality or ethnicity. For more information about the food festival, contact Jackie Smith, 570-638-2497.

The annual festival features hayrides, pumpkin decorating, games, vendors, food and music and is held the day after North Penn High School’s homecoming. The Panthers play the Canton Warriors Friday, Oct. 8, 7 pm at Island Park’s Jones Field.

Applications for the food festival are available at the following locations: The WindowBox Florist, Sanitarium Tattoo & Piercing Studio, Blossburg Borough Hall and www.blossburg.org. Interested parties may also send contact information and a $5 refundable deposit to Blossburg V.I.B.E., c/o Borough Hall, 245 Main St., Blossburg, PA 16912.

To get to Riverside Plaza, take U.S. Route 15 to the Blossburg exit. At the intersection with Bloss Mountain Road (old Route 15), turn left. Follow Bloss Mountain Road to the green bridge next to the United Methodist Church. Turn right onto the bridge. Follow Main Street to the plaza parking lot.

Blossburg V.I.B.E. (Visions in Business & Entertainment) is a new group created by Blossburg Borough Council and Blossburg Improvement Association to envision, plan and implement projects that will enhance the quality of life for those who live, work, play or attend school in Blossburg.

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BLOSSBURG TO HOST FARMERS’ MARKET

BLOSSBURG TO HOST FARMERS’ MARKET
AUG. 7, 8 AM – 1 PM

BLOSSBURG, Aug. 2 – Blossburg will hold its inaugural farmers’ market this Saturday, Aug. 7, 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the War Memorial on Main Street.

“We’re very excited to offer the farmers’ market in Blossburg,” said Tonya McNamara, Blossburg Borough Council vice president. “We hope it is successful and draws people into our downtown.”

According to McNamara, Blossburg has a grocery store, a pharmacy, auto parts and hardware stores, a flower shop, hair salons, and a tattoo studio. “Blossburg is very convenient for residents and those in surrounding communities,” she said.

To get to the farmers’ market, take U.S. Route 15 to the Blossburg exit. At the intersection with old Route 15, turn left. Follow old 15 to the bridge next to the United Methodist Church. Turn right onto the bridge. Follow Main Street to the Memorial.

Interested vendors should contact Ron Steffen at the Blossburg Borough hall for a permit, (570)638-2452. Fruit, vegetables, syrup, honey, cheese, eggs, jams, baked goods, handmade craft items, plants, flowers, etc., are welcome. Flea market or yard sale items are discouraged.

The farmers’ market is a project of Blossburg V.I.B.E. (Visions in Business & Entertainment), a new group created by Blossburg Borough Council and Blossburg Improvement Association to envision, plan and implement projects that will enhance the quality of life for those who live, work, play or attend school in Blossburg.

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BLOSSBURG V.I.B.E. FORMS ACTION TEAMS

July 17, 2004

BLOSSBURG V.I.B.E. FORMS ACTION TEAMS

Movie Theater, Farmers Market, Communications Are Priority Projects

BLOSSBURG, July 2 – Forty-three residents of Blossburg and surrounding communities gathered June 30 to outline a vision statement and create action teams in the second of two visioning sessions sponsored by Blossburg V.I.B.E. (Visions in Business & Entertainment).

Participants ranged in age from 18 to 90 and represented a broad cross-section of people who live, work, play or attend school in Blossburg.

After brainstorming and discussing concepts for a vision statement to guide V.I.B.E. activities, the group chose to focus on several projects.

One of the most popular proposed projects is reopening the Victoria Theater which has been dormant since 1975. Shane Nickerson, team lead and owner of Nickerson Construction, has toured the facility and spoken with its current owners. “The theater is in beautiful shape and we hope we can open and preserve it, and provide entertainment for all ages.” Nickerson said. The movie theater team will meet Wednesday, July 14, 7 pm at Blossburg Memorial Library community room.

The farmers’ market team seeks to create a weekly or biweekly venue for selling quality fresh local vegetables and fruits on Main Street. Tonya McNamara, team lead and Blossburg Borough Council vice president, said, “This could be a unique opportunity to bring the community together, enjoy good food and display local artisans’ talents.” The team will meet Wednesday, July 21, 9 am at First Citizens National Bank in Blossburg.

During the first session’s analysis of Blossburg’s strengths and weaknesses, participants identified communications as a major barrier to community involvement. Juanita Berguson, team lead and owner of Mansfield-based Kingdom Company, Inc., described the communications effort, “Good advertising and marketing are essential to the success of Blossburg’s organizations and businesses. There’s a lot of work ahead of us, but it will pay off.” The communications team will meet Tuesday, July 6, 7 pm at the Berguson residence in Blossburg.

Four other teams were established at the meeting.

A youth activities team led by Jill Nickerson is evaluating the possibility of a skate park as well as other activities for youth in the community such as CPR classes.

The design team, led by Carol Tama, is examining ways to bring Main Street into top physical shape with lighting, building facades, trees and parking.

A team led by Dave Jones is evaluating the possibility of restoring the former Blossburg borough building, which has been vacant since the fire and ambulance company built its new building on the north end of Main Street.

The administration team, charged with building the organization, submitting grant proposals and other administrative tasks, is led by Heidi Jones, owner of Ridgerunner Consulting, who also facilitated the visioning sessions with the assistance of Jill Nickerson, V.I.B.E. secretary/treasurer and owner of Toddler University Daycare and Preschool, Inc.

One other team has met several times. Its focus is evaluating an off-highway vehicle park for the area. The team is led by Charlie Tameris.

V.I.B.E. will next meet July 21, 6pm, in the community room of Blossburg Memorial Library. The library’s community room is handicap accessible. For more information about V.I.B.E. or the action teams, visit www.blossburg.org/vibe or contact Jill Nickerson at 570-638-2005, 570-638-2586 or nikerson@quik.com.

Blossburg V.I.B.E. (Visions in Business & Entertainment) is a new group created by Blossburg Borough Council and Blossburg Improvement Association to envision, plan and implement projects that will enhance the quality of life for those who live, work, play or attend school in Blossburg.

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SUCCESSFUL SESSION EXAMINED STRENTHS, WEAKNESSES

June 21, 2004

SUCCESSFUL SESSION EXAMINED STRENTHS, WEAKNESSES

BLOSSBURG, June 21 – Twenty-five residents of Blossburg and surrounding communities gathered June 16 to examine the community’s strengths and weaknesses in a visioning session sponsored by Blossburg V.I.B.E.

The first of two sessions focused on an analysis of the community’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

After brainstorming and small-group discussions, participants chose five strengths:

  • Island Park;
  • a strong community orientation with many volunteer-based service organizations;
  • good borough and basic services;
  • friendly, energetic people;
  • and a role as the cornerstone of surrounding communities such as Morris Run, Arnot and Covington.

The group also came to consensus about several community weaknesses:

  • a lack of communication about Blossburg’s events, opportunities, services and website;
  • a lack of employment opportunities;
  • a lack of activities for adults and youth;
  • a lack of a focal point to draw people into town;
  • and vacant store fronts.

The opportunities and threats section of the evening was more challenging, according to Kathy Hemling, owner of Windowbox Flower Shop. However, the group did choose five opportunities on which to focus attention:

  • opening the movie theater that has been dormant since 1975;
  • encouraging service-oriented specialty shops;
  • building on existing outdoor activities;
  • promoting available low-cost land and housing;
  • and improving communication with area residents and others.

Participants also identified four major threats to the community:

  • the proposed dump in Hamilton Township (see www.tcccc-inc.org for details);
  • the potential loss of a major employer;
  • the loss of youth to better job opportunities elsewhere, and its corollary, a decreasing, aging population;
  • and a lack of interest in community connections and V.I.B.E.-type meetings.

To begin addressing the lack of communication about Blossburg’s events and services, participants recommended the revival of the “Blossburg Banter” column in the Wellsboro Gazette. Renee Woodhouse, a resident of Morris Run and co-owner of The Sanitarium, a new tattoo shop located on Main Street in Blossburg, volunteered to write the column. Woodhouse is accepting information for the column at renee@blossburg.org, 570-638-2828 or at the Blossburg borough building.

Blossburg resident Heidi Jones, owner of Ridgerunner Consulting, facilitated the session with assistance from Jill Nickerson, another Blossburg resident and owner of Toddler University Daycare and Preschool, Inc., which will open in September.

“The three hours flew by,” said Nicholas Starks, a former resident of Blossburg who said he has many friends in the town. “Heidi is an excellent facilitator and kept things moving.”

“This was the best seminar I’ve ever attended,” Blossburg Mayor John Backman said. “I hope more people attend the next one.” His wish was echoed by Hemling and Woodhouse.

The next session will be held June 30, 6-9pm, in the community room of Blossburg Memorial Library. Jones said anyone who lives, works, plays or attends school in Blossburg is welcome.

The June 30 session will focus on creating a vision statement to guide planning, and developing an action plan with a set of working groups devoted to various projects in preparation for submitting grant proposals to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and other funding sources, Jones said.

The library’s community room is handicap accessible. Refreshments will be served. Prospective participants may contact Jill Nickerson at 570-638-2005, 570-638-2586 or nikerson@quik.com.

Blossburg V.I.B.E. (Visions in Business & Entertainment) is a new group created by Blossburg Borough Council and Blossburg Improvement Association to envision, plan and implement projects that will enhance the quality of life for those who live, work, play or attend school in Blossburg.

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VISION SESSIONS TO BE HELD JUNE 16 AND 30

May 21, 2004

VISION SESSIONS TO BE HELD JUNE 16 AND 30

Blossburg V.I.B.E. to Create Vision Statement, Action Plan

BLOSSBURG, May 21 — Residents of Blossburg and surrounding communities will gather to create a vision for Blossburg’s future two evenings in June at the Blossburg Memorial Library.

To be held June 16 and 30, 6-9 pm, the sessions are sponsored by Blossburg Visions in Business & Entertainment, a new group created as a joint project of Blossburg Borough Council and Blossburg Improvement Association.

Blossburg V.I.B.E. members have invited anyone who lives, works, plays or attends school in Blossburg, especially residents of Blossburg Borough and Bloss and Hamilton townships, the primary users of Blossburg’s downtown.

The sessions are intended to incorporate ideas from a wide range of community participants, with fun exercises and small group discussions resulting in a collaborative, consensus-based vision.

Blossburg V.I.B.E. will use the sessions to develop a vision statement and an action plan in preparation for submitting grant proposals to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and other funding sources. The grants are to provide resources for projects developed through the vision session process.

 

Who: Residents of Blossburg Borough, Hamilton Township and Bloss Township, or anyone who lives, works, plays or attends school in Blossburg.
When: Wednesday, June 16, 6-9 pm
Wednesday, June 30, 6-9 pm
Where: Blossburg Memorial Library, downstairs community room 307 Main Street, Blossburg

The library is handicap accessible. Refreshments will be served. Prospective participants should contact Jill Nickerson at 570-638-2005, 570-638-2586 or nikerson@quik.com.

Community members are also invited to join the Blossburg V.I.B.E. e-mail group:

  1. Go to groups.yahoo.com/group/16912
  2. If you are a member of Yahoo, click the “Join this group” button.
  3. If not a member of Yahoo, click “Sign up”

If you need assistance with the group, contact Joshua Jones, jdj@blossburg.org. The group site has meeting minutes, a message archive and shared files to help keep everyone informed of the group’s progress.

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