CLEARFIELD – Board members, volunteers and supporters of the Clearfield Revitalization Corp. gathered last night to review its success over the past five years and to hear about its vision for the future of downtown Clearfield.
President Katie Penoyer said over the past year, she’s observed the passion and dedication of the CRC volunteers. “I’ve witnessed the strength of leaders and volunteers in our community, as they come together to do great things,” she said.
“It’s an honor to be a part of this group, and I’m so very excited to see what the future holds for our town. I’m constantly reminded of the power of a clear vision and dedicated citizens.”
Main Street Manager Heather Bozovich said since the CRC’s formation in 2008, its board and volunteers have been dedicated to “leading the revitalization of the All-American people, places and spirit of Clearfield.” The CRC, she said, strives to enhance the image of downtown Clearfield and to ensure it remains a vital place to live and work.
According to her, CRC volunteers have accumulated more than 22,000 service hours over the past five years. The CRC, she said, uses these volunteer hours as in-kind services, and it has translated into nearly $500,000 being donated within the community.
Bozovich also noted that CRC volunteers average 4,400 more service hours per year than most Main Street Programs in Pennsylvania. She said this hard work has paid off, as the CRC has been nationally-accredited for the past three years through the National Trust of Historical Preservation.
The CRC, she said, is one of 20 Main Street Programs in Pennsylvania and one of 600 Main Street Programs nationally to receive this honor. She credited the CRC’s success to its strong support from the community for allowing it to stay true to its vision.
Katie Miknis, chairwoman of the Design Committee, explained her volunteers assist with the visible changes in downtown Clearfield. She said the committee offers façade improvement grants, and the grant’s guidelines have been revised.
She said façade grants are now available for the sides of downtown buildings. Also, she said grants will be awarded on a monthly basis. She noted significant improvements were completed this past year at the new Ethan’s Café/The Angry Bean and the Bob’s Army & Navy Store.
Rob Bozovich, chairman of the Promotions Committee, said his volunteers are tasked with getting people into downtown Clearfield and helping the merchants. Over the course of the year, he said they hold events, such as the Taste of the Town Spirit wine tour, the Fall Festival and Pumpkin Run.
The Promotions Committee, he said, wants to hear ideas from the community, and then his volunteers will look for ways to make them a reality. He said they want community members to help them bring more events to “our town.”
Chris Renaud, director of planning and development, said it’s been “bittersweet” helping the CRC develop plans for its next five years. He applauded Rob Swales, chief executive officer of the Clearfield County Economic Development Corp., for his dedication to the Riverfront Redevelopment Project, which will be a “game changer” for the community.
Renaud also applauded Borough Operations Manager Leslie Stott and her staff for visioning the Streetscape Project in downtown Clearfield. He said the borough has received a $3 million grant that will give the downtown district a “facelift” with new park benches, bicycle racks and garbage cans.
He said the CRC’s strategic plan for the next five years fits the aforementioned changes in the downtown community. The CRC, he said, has expanded its Main Street boundaries to encompass the Riverfront Redevelopment Project. He said it also stretches from the Choice store to both the former and new CVS Pharmacy locations.
The CRC strategic plan, Renaud said, will engage local youth. He said youth will be become involved with the CRC’s planning and development, as they will be entrusted with carrying out the vision down the road. “We want to know what will keep them here and what will bring them back,” he said.
Renaud said the CRC has revised its partnership program to allow for increased benefits throughout the community. Every penny, he said, will be used to reflect the CRC vision and mission. Renaud said partnerships aren’t just available to people within the Main Street district, but also to anyone with an invested interest in downtown Clearfield.
“The CRC’s success over the past several years is all due to your support,” said Renaud. “And, it’s your support that will drive us into the future.”