The President’s Pen is a weekly blog written by Jonathan Smith, New Vision’s President and CEO about local economic development projects and initiatives. It also covers economic trends, workforce issues, business climate policies, and manufacturing news.
Last year about this time I was asked to help the community of Tieton set the stage for a couple Town Hall meetings where residents would ideally create an action plan for local economic development. I reached out to my old friend Paul Johnson, who works for the Forest Service and is a great meeting facilitator. Paul agreed to run Tieton's meetings and the community made the most of this opportunity.
Citizens came together and focused on projects that would revitalize Tieton. The group's action plan focused civic and volunteer energy and produced tangible results. First there is a new soccer field down town that should be ready to play on next spring. Organizers Kerry and Karen Quint pulled together funds, materials and labor to create the play field out of an abandoned city lot.
The Tieton group also ran a successful farmers market last summer. The City has budgeted funds to staff this event next year so it can be even bigger and better.
Residents dreamed of having a local medical clinic last year and Central Washington Family Medicine (CWFM) stepped forward to explore how it could open an office in Tieton. CWFM is now writing a grant to help the group open a Tieton clinic that would include a include lab and pharmacy.
The Tieton team has also submitted a grant proposal to establish a community garden/farm/commercial Kitchen. Funds would be used to establish a center where those in need could grow their own food, have a coop food bank, start classes for nutrition education and food preservation skills.
The citizens' plan crafted last year has helped Tieton purposely improve the community. The group met recently to celebrate its accomplishments and look forward towards new projects next year. Our hat is off to these hard working folks. They have laid down a solid foundation for community improvement and have some momentum to keep revitalizing Tieton.