New Castle News

September 12, 2012

New Visions sets community meeting

John K. Manna
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — New Visions for Lawrence County will have its kickoff community meeting Tuesday at New Castle High School.

The public meeting, scheduled to run from 6 to 8 p.m., will be in the auditorium.

New Visions board members will explain the purpose of the organization and what it has done, heard and learned through community interviews over the last six to eight months.

The aim of New Visions is to work collaboratively with community leaders and residents to formulate a plan for the revitalization of New Castle. Residents will be given the opportunity at Tuesday’s meeting to begin that effort.

With financial help from the city of New Castle, the organization hired Jackson/Clark Partners to assist in conducting interviews and providing guidance for the community to develop a plan.

Chris DeVivo, a board member, said the intent of New Visions is “to pull everybody together.”

“The whole idea is that any revitalization is going to be community led. Any community that has had a rebound has been citizen led or citizen organized, pulling like-minded citizens who want a better New Castle and better Lawrence County.”

He added the organization is encouraging residents to offer their ideas and interests.

At Tuesday’s session, participants will break up into four action teams, brainstorm ideas with a leader and come up with two to three things that can be worked on immediately.

The four initial action teams are:

•Safety — Led by Lawrence County District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa.

•Celebrate — Led by Kimberly Koller-Jones, executive director of the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts — recognizing the community’s greatest assets.

•Communications — Led by DeVivo.

•Clean/Green — Led by Melissa Barnes of Cray Youth and Family Services — beautification efforts, cleanups and targeted areas.

Action teams to be implemented in the future include education and jobs, health and recreation, and leadership and engagement.