Georgetown Council hires development firm

By Wayne Gates – 

The Georgetown Village Council was short one member when it met on August 10.
Former Council Member Kelley Campbell submitted his resignation from the body the day before.
In a handwritten letter addressed “To whom it may concern”, Campbell wrote “I Kelley Campbell will no longer be on town council for the Village of Georgetown, Ohio.  I am quitting effective immediately.”
Georgetown Mayor Dale Cahall said that he had no further information on the reason for Campbell’s decision.
The five members of council that remained had a busy evening.
Following a routine motion to pay the bills, council heard from Georgetown Police Chief Robert Freeland.
Freeland reported that  were 532 calls for service from his department since July 13 and that 69 charges were filed with Georgetown Mayor’s Court and 27 charges were filed with county court.
During the public comment section of the meeting, a number of residents spoke about the recent council decision not to rezone the former Meadowwood Care Center property to accommodate a court-ordered drug treatment facility.
Brown County Municipal Judge Joe Worley was among those who spoke.
“I do think you need to know the seriousness of the situation.  I sit there (on the bench) every day and I can’t do anything with the people who come that are charged with drug misdemeanors.  The jails are full, and we are even paying to house people in Clermont County.  I send them to outpatient counseling, but honestly, I don’t think that’s the appropriate thing. My court really needs someplace to send these people.”
Following a short executive session, council resumed public session and voted to retain Development Strategies Group, LLC to work on economic development for the village.
The group will be paid $3000 per month, with an initial contract of one year.  Either party may cancel the contract at any time in writing.
“They are an economic development group that works to entice businesses to certain locations and otherwise promote economic development,” said Cahall following the meeting.
“We are looking at properties within the village of Georgetown that could be made available for development, whether it’s commercial, residential or industrial.”
Cahall said that it makes sense to bring on some outside help to help stimulate economic development.
“It’s something that we know we are not experts on.  I am a part-time mayor and Art (Owens) has his hands full running the village on a day to day basis.  So we thought we could find some outside help, with council’s approval, to help us move the village forward,” Cahall said.
“They can give us a headstart and propel us to being a ‘shovel-ready’ community and they have the connections to do that.”
Cahall added that one success will more than make up for the investment in the idea.
“If there is a scenario where we gain, for example, fifty jobs and this firm is responsible for doing that, then they have more than paid for themselves.”