CLARION – In May and June 2014, the perceptions of 445 individuals who work, sleep, eat, shop, study, worship, or own businesses or properties in Clarion Borough were recorded as part of the Blueprint Communities Perception Survey.
“The survey was the first step in the team’s commitment to gain community input,” said Carol Lapinto, a Blueprint Communities core team member and president, Clarion Borough Council. “The results give us a clear idea of what community members believe are our strengths and our challenges.”
Positive attributes of Clarion include:
- Being convenient to major highways (95 percent agreed/strongly agreed)
- Being safe (87 percent agreed/strongly agreed)
- Having safe places to cross the street (83 percent agreed/strongly agreed)
- Having a rich heritage (81 percent agreed/strongly agreed)
- Being clean (75 percent agreed/strongly agreed)
The following items were identified as challenges:
- Has places where people can work (73 percent disagreed/strongly disagreed)
- Has the right mix of businesses (63 percent disagreed/strongly disagreed)
- Is progressive and future-oriented (62 percent disagreed/strongly disagreed)
- Is well-promoted (61 percent disagreed/strongly disagreed)
- Has available good and services (54 percent disagreed/strongly disagreed)
- Is well connected to other attractions (52 percent disagreed/strongly disagreed)
“It is also important to look at those items in light yellow,” said Eric Funk, a core team member and manager of Community First Bank, Clarion. “Respondents did not necessarily agree or disagree with these statements. We will take a closer look at them to see if they present opportunities for us moving forward.”
The next step for the team is to develop a draft vision for the community that takes into consideration the results of this survey.
The draft plan will be presented as part of a town hall meeting at 7 p.m. on Aug. 26 at the American Legion, Clarion.
“We thank everyone who took the time to take the survey,” said Dan Parker, a core team member and executive director, Clarion Free Library. “We hope everyone will join us on Aug. 26 at the town hall meeting. This will be another opportunity for the community to weigh in on this initiative.”
Over the next several years the core team of civic leaders will engage local residents and businesses in developing a clear vision and strategic plan for change, work to develop stronger local leadership, and attract investments to build a healthier, sustainable community.
The Blueprint Communities effort is a partnership between Clarion Borough and Clarion University. Clarion Borough was one of only six communities to be selected for this year’s Blueprint Communities initiative, which is in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Downtown Center and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh.