The revitalization of downtown Jamestown would benefit from a more coordinated effort by those looking to improve our city.
The merger of Jamestown Renaissance Corporation and the Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation is a step in the right direction.
For starters, it's no longer difficult to determine which organization does what to better Jamestown. The organizations' goals overlapped previously in some cases.
In the past, DJDC had focused on event planning and the downtown business community.
Created to implement the Urban Design Plan, JRC branched out to facade restoration and public space revitalization with the Winter Garden Plaza and Potters Gallery.
The bottom line: both organizations were working on downtown revitalization.
Despite the merger, DJDC still exists with its sole focus being the newly renovated Jamestown Gateway Station, the former Erie-Lackawanna Train Station. The organization's former responsibilities now fall under the JRC umbrella. The holiday parade, Cruisin', Thunder in the Streets and the farmers' market will be continued by JRC in 2013.
"There was so much overlap that it made sense to create a single organization that focused on downtown revitalization but also neighborhood revitalization," said Peter Lombardi, JRC's recently appointed executive director.
Lombardi says the organization will look to bring more events downtown by working closely with other businesses and organizations. Here's hoping he can make it happen.
Lombardi has proven himself by getting Grow Jamestown and the Renaissance Block Challenge off the ground. He has earned the opportunity to lead the JRC staff in their efforts to improve downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods.
After spearheading DJDC's revitalization efforts, Lee Harkness now gets the chance to bring the Gateway Station into the 21st century.
Both men have proven themselves capable of helping the city. They have opportunities to improve the quality of Jamestown life once again.
It will be interesting to see how they go about it.