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Belpre has a plan for the future

For those of you thinking the city of Belpre is a sleepy small town where nothing much happens, think again.

City leaders and about 50 community members attended a special meeting Thursday to hear about the strategic plan for economic development for Belpre. The report isn’t earth-shattering, but seems like it has solid ideas that can be implemented with community support.

The plan was requested by the Belpre Area Chamber of Commerce.

The “Economic Development Strategic Plan” was funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the Appalachian New Economy Partnership, a program of the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the State of Ohio, at no cost to the city or chamber.

The recommendations in the plan include: A “Buy Belpre” campaign to encourage community pride and support for local businesses; active recruitment and support of river-oriented recreational businesses; continued support for Belpre In Bloom and other beautification efforts; working with Civitan Park and the Belpre Historical Society on entertainment and tourism programs; develop a list of infrastructure priorities and sites and work on grant funding for such development; and identify local franchise owners of retail stores and restaurants currently not located in the greater marketplace..

Also, attention is recommended in the Marietta Memorial Hospital Belpre campus area where infrastructure upgrades will likely be a continuing need to cope with anticipated growth.

All in all, we think folks in Belpre can look ahead to more growth in the near future. Hospital development has a carryover impact on related growth and investment in the city.

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