Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"Gear up for Alternative Energy" Forum (February 25th)

The Union City Community Economic Development Committee (UCCEDC), which has representation from both sides of the state-line, is hosting the first Boomtown event of the year on Thursday, Feb 25 at 7 PM at Mississinawa Valley High School. The event’s theme is “Gear up for Alternative Energy” and will shine a spotlight on a number of alternative/renewable energy projects already underway in Darke and Randolph Counties and on how these fit into similar projects and plans regionally and state-wide.

“Many communities across the nation are seeking to become hubs of renewable energy activity and are trying to position them accordingly,” said UCCEDC President Rob Lykins. “This event will help show that this community has already started down that path and has a commitment to remain on it.”

The event is the second in a series of meetings designed to keep the spotlight on revitalization efforts occurring in the Union City area and, in general, all of Darke and Randolph Counties. The meetings seek to keep the momentum going that was started last year when acclaimed revitalization expert Jack Schultz, author of the book ‘Boom Town USA’ came to the area at the request of the UCCEDC.

Schultz spent time in both Union City communities, gave specifically tailored feedback to local leaders, and gave a full presentation to the community at the conclusion of his visit. A number of significant events accompanied Schultz’s efforts including the dedication of the Rails-to-Trails Gateway project that now connects the two communities and a ground breaking ceremony for Randolph Eastern School Corporation’s wind turbine project.

“The Union City communities and the two counties as a whole have so much to gain through cooperation,” explained UCCEDC Vice President Dan Franks, “Our hope was that the Boomtown event helped bring the two sides of the state-line closer together and that our follow up series continues to foster that idea.”

Speakers scheduled for the evening include Ohio House Representative Jim Zehringer and Indiana House Rep. Bill Davis, Chris Meyer, Director of Energy Programs from the Dayton Development Coalition, both counties’ economic development directors, and a variety of area alternative energy project leaders.

“The first Boomtown follow-up meeting attracted a great crowd as well as significant media coverage. Our plan is for this coming meeting to do the same,” said Union City, Ind. Mayor Bryan Conklin. “Folks from both counties are invited and I am sure that they will leave the event more confident about our areas’ future.”

The first Boom Town Quarterly meeting was held last summer at Randolph Eastern High School. UCCEDC officials say that subsequent Boomtown meetings will continue to flip-flop across the state-line. For more information about the event, or to find out more about the UCCEDC and its activities, please call 765-964-6009, Ext. 205.

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