For the past five months a group of Gardiner residents has been meeting to help build Gardiner’s businesses. Beyond the obvious goal of helping our neighbors strengthen their companies during the recession, our group’s target is to increase local jobs and to lower Gardiner homeowners’ taxes.
The kick-off meeting last April attracted more than 50 business owners, including three generations of Dressel’s—Rod Sr., Rod Jr., and Tim. Given the economic climate the group decided to focus first on the town’s current businesses, and to temporarliy delay attempts to attract new companies to Gardiner. Fellow Town Board member Greg Finger and I have been leading the effort. We are actively supporting ALL of Gardiner’s businesses—Main Street retailers, Rt. 208 farms, Steve’s Lane companies, and others throughout the town.
So far we have concentrated on tactics that will increase business right now, such as more parking, better signage, and upgrading the Town’s website. Also, we are working on longer-term projects which we believe will have a significant impact, including “Gardiner” on more state and county road signs, installing signs to direct more people to our business district, and making the intersection of the Rail Trail and Main St. the focal point for tourism. (We think of this as “Gardiner Junction”, in tribute to our railroad heritage.) Finally, we plan to add a Tourism section to Gardiner’s website, with links to other sites, including the Gardiner Association of Bussiness, the Library, and other tourist-related sites.
We’re off to a good start but there’s a lot more to do. We have a dedicated group of volunteers but we could use more help, ideas and sweat. We meet on the second Monday of every month at 7:00 at Town Hall. Will you help make Gardiner’s businesses stronger so we can increase jobs and lower taxes? Please call if you’d like more information—Warren Wiegand 255-7915.