Seven Weston residents traveled to Parkersburg on Feb. 9 to learn more about the West Virginia Development Office's ON TRAC (Organization, Training, Revitalization and Capacity) program.
This plan was created by the West Virginia Development Office to assist West Virginia communities in their efforts to boost economic and community growth. The goals of the program are to evaluate, educate and assist communities in these efforts.
Four members of the Weston Planning Commission, the Rev. Rick Brown, Cindy Rowan, Michelle Carpenter and Julia Spelsberg; Francis Cogar of Weston Economic Development Authority; Weston Public Works Director John Hogan; and Weston Councilman Terry Cogar all attended the meeting. After hearing the explanation of the program, the group decided to apply for the ON TRAC designation. There are four openings available and they will be awarded this summer.
The group plans to meet with local groups to inform them of the ON TRAC program and to solicit letters of support for the effort. Brown, Carpenter, and Francis Cogar are heading up that component.
The Development Office explains that all communities, regardless of size, age, fame, past experience or existing economic makeup, can prosper from learning and practicing the downtown revitalization basics.
If Weston gains the ON TRAC designation, the Development Office notes the benefits of being an ON TRAC Community as:
Fundamental training on "Downtown Revitalization 101" and the "Main Street Four Point Approach"
A community assessment of strengths and weaknesses
Access to online library of databases and resource links (videos, articles, webinars, etc.)
Attendance to training workshops
Action planning services
Scholarship and grant opportunities
Design technical visit
Being a member of a network across the state dealing with similar issues at various stages of the downtown revitalization process.
Anyone interested in learning more about the program or helping out can contact Spelsberg at 304-269-3683.