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  • Writer's pictureRevitalizeYC

New Year, New Beginnings

As we begin 2022, the RevitalizeYC board wants to take a moment to reflect on our accomplishments in 2021 and share with you some of our goals for the year to come.

New Roles for RevitalizeYC's Board of Directors:

RevitalizeYC announced the appointment of board members to their new positions on the Board of Directors starting at the January 2022 meeting.

- President: Gary Morris

- Vice President: John Atkin IV

- Organizational Management: Emily Beesley

- Events: Cara Walden

Web Presence & Branding Workshop:

RevitalizeYC is partnering with Chari Bauman to offer a Web Presence and Branding Workshop in February 2022. Click to learn more or to register for this workshop.

Future Merchant Sign:

RevitalizeYC Future Merchant signs for the Town Square have arrived! If you know of a new business in the works, we have a sign we would like to share. The sign can be placed in a display window or use grommets to hang outside. These signs will help generate support and excitement to the new business owners and its future patrons.

Historical Economic Asset Lifeline (HEAL) Grant:

This was a match grant provided by the Kansas Department of Commerce, Kansas Main Street, and Kansas Office of Rural Prosperity. It was announced in late November and closed December 19th. The purpose of the grant was for the revitalization of underutilized, vacant, or dilapidated downtown buildings. They were intended to bring buildings back into productive use as spaces for new or expanding businesses, childcare, or housing, arts and culture, civic engagement, or entrepreneurship. Building owners could get up to $75,000 for buildings, but had to have cash match.

RevitalizeYC with the help of Yates Center City Council, Woodson County Commissioners, the Historical Society, and Woodson County Chamber of Commerce formed a committee to provide support for any business owners who chose to apply. This group of members met several times to review applications, provide support, and write letters of recommendations.

There were six businesses within Woodson County that submitted for the HEAL grant. Each business idea was individually unique and would be truly beneficial to our community. However, the HEAL Grant Committee did not approve any of the applications submitted from Woodson County.

RevitalizeYC would like to thank all the individuals and business for their time and effort put into this grant application process. We encourage you to keep trying.

PRIDE Sign Placement:

We are absolutely loving our Kansas Community PRIDE sign. Now to figure out with KDOT how to get it put up! RevitalizeYC wants to give a big shoutout to K-State Research and Extension for providing a continuing grant program that allows us to execute community beautification projects! Some of the projects completed from this grant include the annual spring cleanup, cedar wood benches around the town square, and a project to be announced soon!

Review of 2021 Goals:

We had a lot of ambitious goals set for 2021. Even with the obstacles and slowdown created by COVID-19, the Board of Directors for RevitalizeYC have been busy making progress on goals and initiatives outlined for the year.

Our goal was to receive one to five grants in 2021. We successfully wrote and obtained four grants this year totaling $10,097.10. They were the Evergy Grant, WalMart Mural Project, PRIDE Grant, and the Tourism Grant. One grant was completed last year. Throughout 2022, the remaining grant projects will be completed and unveiled to the public.

We received a First Impressions Report regarding Yates Center. The report was made by information collected by a team of people who visited our town giving us their First Impression Overview. The First Impressions Report was presented and shared with the community. It was attended by 16 community leaders in Woodson County. This has revealed a need for community planning and a date has been scheduled with community leaders for a formal Community Planning Workshop.

RevitalizeYC wanted to improve our presence and complete more tangible projects for the community. Using the funds from the PRIDE grant, we partnered with the YCHS students to build the cedar benches. They were revealed to the community and placed around the town square. Responding to a request from Friends for Life and the Woodson County Chamber of Commerce, RevitalizeYC successfully planned and hosted the 2021 Yates Center Fall Festival; a family-oriented community event and cookoff. Through partnerships with Piqua State Bank, Light Hardware, YC Dental, Stillwater's Edge, Hardy Fence, and the Yates Center Elementary School we conducted a Penny War. We raised just under $2,000. That money was donated to our local cancer organization - Friends for Life. All the kindergarteners won a RevitalizeYC t-shirt.

After reviewing surveys completed by our community members, we discovered a need for health awareness. To help meet that community need, we added a health component to our goals and missions. In addition, we opened a new role on our board of directors with a focus on health. That position was filled by Cara Walden.

To be more diverse and inclusive to all of Woodson County, RevitalizeYC wanted to include individuals from each town in Woodson County on our board. We have added Jessica Busteed from Toronto, and she has been working as our secretary. In 2022, we will continue our efforts.

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