Downtown re-branding effort underway

City Manager Joe Denen shared a video focusing on Washington Court House small businesses Wednesday night with city council, which led to an explanation about an effort to re-brand the downtown.

While the video is limited to images and music, council members commented on how well it was done and how they loved the involvement of small local businesses. The video is part of a project that Washington C.H. City Economic Development Director Chelsie Baker is working on.

Denen explained there will be a series of four videos. The one currently finished and available for viewing focuses on small businesses. The other videos are planned to portray: quality of life, the industrial park, and the final video is a “surprise.”

“This is something we are enormously pleased about. You might recall several years ago, we experimented with little short videos that focused on particular businesses,” said Denen. “With a little bit of outside technical help, the production quality that you can achieve now is rather astounding. We found a very nice gentleman who gave us some help there, and that has been —honestly— a tremendous amount of fun, and it’s a different way to reach out to people about the community.”

Some of the businesses showcased in the video were: Back En Thyme, Platform Coffee, True Blue Tattoo, Good Dog Groomery, Trends, Three Birds Boutique and Rusty Keg.

“It gets people to look at the community a little bit differently and, quite honestly, we want them to ask questions like, ‘okay, I know where this is, but now I have to figure out where this section is.’ You want them to look around and explore and think about that — and that is something we have just been pleased as punch with,” said Denen.

Council co-chair Steve Shiltz said, “What we’re trying to do is we’re going to be branding the downtown. There’s a project we all have in our minds that we want to do, so we’re going to start branding the downtown. Give it a different look, even have a slogan of some sort — we’re looking for (the slogan…) Those are things we’re going to be working on in the future.”

The video is available for viewing on the “City of WCH, Economic Developement” Facebook page.

In other news from Wednesday’s council meeting, several pieces of legislation were heard.

One resolution (number R3) was placed on second reading and was then adopted. This resolution authorizes Denen to enter into a cooperative agreement with the Ohio Director of Transportation for an urban paving project.

There was one new ordinance and two new resolutions heard — all three were placed on first reading.

The ordinance (number 1-2022), if passed, would authorize city administration to create a new position titled, “Tax Administrator.”

Resolution number R4, if passed, would authorize Denen to enter into an agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation for the purchase of bulk highway rock salt (for salting roads when necessary due to weather).

During his earlier comments to council, Denen explained, “While it’s still February and still fairly nasty out, believe it or not, if you take a close look, the spring bulbs have already started to poke their way through. So, there is hope.”

Resolution number R5, if passed, would allow Denen to enter into an agreement with EMH&T Engineering, Inc. for engineering services.

Also during his comments, Denen said, “The weather has been wet. That has resulted in some problems with the sewer system that we have not experienced in at least three years. We have appropriately reported all of the complications to the authorities at EPA. And, quite honestly, with all the construction work we have going on at the waste water treatment plant, I’ve been incredibly pleased with how well the system has functioned.”

Denen also said, “I want to assure you that the street department is out patching potholes.”

During closing comments, Shiltz said, “The whole thing of the downtown branding, putting the downtown on the map sort of thing, is something that excites me quite a bit. I want to think that Ollie’s coming to town is the beginning, and that there are others coming right behind them. So, we are showing some progress and moving forward with the city. And that’s the whole thing about Washington Court House. We’d like to see it continue moving forward.”

He further explained, “We have some plans over at Eyman Park. A new splash pad is coming for use by adults maybe or older children to play. So, we’re going to have that. We’re also having some outside exercise equipment that’s going to be there. Hopefully a walk-away/walk-around the whole thing. These are things that we’re looking at for the future, that we are working on everyday. And we will do other things in the city.”

Council meetings are held the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers — located on the second floor of the City Administration Building, 105 N. Main St. in Washington C.H.

Reach journalist Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.

During the Washington Court House City Council meeting on Wednesday, City Manager Joe Denen shared a video focusing on local small business with the council and those in attendance. the Washington Court House City Council meeting on Wednesday, City Manager Joe Denen shared a video focusing on local small business with the council and those in attendance. Jennifer Woods | Record-Herald photo
Video project focuses on spotlighting small businesses

By Jennifer Woods

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