Revitalizing Morrisville’s aging downtown was key to new development
HALTOM CITY, TX, September 03, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — A grass-roots movement known as Make Haltom City Thrive Again (MHCTA) is urging the city council to adopt policies that would reverse ongoing decline in the city’s south and central areas. Founded in 2022 by businessman Ron Sturgeon and supported by a growing number of citizens and business owners, MHCTA aims to call attention to the need for change.
During a recent book signing event for Keeping the Lights on Downtown in America’s Small Cities, it was clear that citizens and small business owners have been frustrated and disheartened by the City Council’s lack of attention to their concerns. Although a number of practical and cost-effective ideas have been presented over the past two years both by citizens and by the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) not one of the suggestions made seems to have gained any traction to date.
According to Sturgeon, Haltom City leaders owe it to their constituents to consider each and every idea put forward. When discussing the current challenges faced in the south and central areas, particularly along the older corridors of NE 28th Street, Belknap, and Denton Highway, Ron frequently points to other cities that have successfully implemented one or more of the proposed ideas.
One such example is the town of Morrisville, Vermont, which is on track to add 500 housing units in three years. As reported in the recent on-line article The Morrisville Miracle by writer Will Gardner, the key take-aways from Morrisville (based on his “deep dive” into the strategies used) are as follows:
– First, “humbly observe the needs and challenges” of your current residents and businesses;
– Review what you have and build on that, including businesses that have seen better days;
– Prioritize people over vehicles by reducing or eliminating unnecessary parking minimums;
– Encourage traditional development patterns and processes (e.g. allowing apartments above shops in existing buildings);
– Prioritize incremental business growth (rather than “putting all your eggs in one basket”) which has the added benefit of positioning the city in a much stronger place when ‘big developers come knocking” at your door;
– Encourage development by streamlining the approval process and reducing costly and time-consuming red tape which is all too often a death knell for small business growth.
The members of HUBA and the supporters of the Make Haltom City Thrive Again movement would very much like to see Haltom City consider the Morrisville ideas and any others used by similar towns and cities across the country. Says Sturgeon, the hope is to “bring back the prosperity and opportunity once enjoyed in these areas, which can be a very real and lasting legacy for everyone in Haltom City.” Haltom City residents are invited to contact him directly at [email protected] and to check out the Make Haltom City Thrive Again website to learn more.
About Haltom United Business Alliance
Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) wants to give members of Haltom City’s business community an advocate and to keep those businesses informed about issues that affect them. They want to make sure Haltom City is business friendly and nurtures small business growth, including automotive businesses, and bring more restaurants including breweries and a major grocery store to the city. New businesses and growth in existing businesses will create a stronger tax base which will allow the city to pay its first responders wages that are competitive with surrounding cities while improving Haltom City’s facilities and infrastructure. HUBA believes that the southern and central parts of the city need a revitalization plan, to prevent further degradation in those areas, and wants that to happen before the inner-city experiences increased crime and more blight. As retail and office uses are in decline, it’s more critical than ever to attract new businesses. They believe that such a plan requires a strong relationship and support of the business community. Anyone who owns a business in Haltom City is eligible to join HUBA. Dues are $20 annually or $50 for a lifetime membership, and membership is 100% confidential. To join, contact Joe Palmer at (682) 310-0591 or by email at [email protected]. Visit the group’s Facebook at Haltom United Business Alliance.
About Make Haltom City Thrive Again
The Make Haltom City Thrive Again website offers information and resources about its purpose and goals. For more on Sturgeon’s personal ideas and background, check out his book Keeping the Lights on Downtown in America’s Small Cities and watch the videos on his Facebook page. Ron is also the founder of the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) which represents existing business interests in Haltom City and promotes growth of diverse businesses as well. HUBA is not a political action committee and does not endorse candidates. If/when Ron endorses candidates, he will do so on his own with the Make Haltom City Thrive Again organization.
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