There is a vibrancy and energy about Gettysburg that’s growing and contagious as our community works together as a strong team. In 2018, Borough Staff, Council, and Main Street Gettysburg (MSG) demonstrated how this exceptional teamwork brought additional funds, efficiency, economic health, beautification improvements, safety, and more to our community.
To date, the Baltimore Street Revitalization Project (BSRP) has raised $81,000 of non-governmental funds towards the pilot and planning for an $11 million 5 to 10-year project that will improve the safety, beauty and livability of our main corridor in town. Charles Gable, Borough Manager, Becky LaBarre, Planning Director and Chad Clabaugh, Borough Engineer have been instrumental in creating the Master Plan. The Borough Council unanimously approved the Master Plan in February 2018. The Borough staff have been strong advocates for this project at various state and municipal meetings that helps with future funding. In 2019, the Borough will be hosting the Pennsylvania Municipal League’s Annual Conference and jointly, the Borough and MSG will showcase the BSRP. Key state legislators will spend several days in downtown Gettysburg to learn more about “Walkable Communities,” the heart and soul of the BSRP.
In December, the Borough installed 8 new bike racks, a “sub-project” of the BSRP. Tom Jolin of Healthy Adams Bicycle Pedestrian Inc. (HABPI), spearheaded this project, with the HABPI team ensuring bike safety and convenience, and the Baltimore Street Executive Committee ensuring the bike racks met their vision of the corridor. The bike plaques were designed by well-known local artist Wendy Allen, showcasing Abraham Lincoln and the words “all are created equal.” Thanks to the Borough’s Becky LaBarre who oversaw the Borough’s planning requirements and Rob Harbaugh’s facilities team, 8 new bike racks were installed quickly and easily. Sponsors of the bike racks included the Regimental Quartermaster, Gettysburg Foundation’s Rupp House, McDonald’s, Blue & Gray, Adams County Library and the Gettysburg Borough office. With the collaboration and working relationship of the Borough, HABPI, Baltimore Street residents and businesses and MSG, this project is well on its way to making our community a better place to live, work and play.
As the Borough’s Community Advocate, MSG has a daily responsibility to share what they hear from the community and assist on problem solving with Borough Staff. MSG hosts two Community Advisory Committee meetings a year for the business community and keeps a dialogue alive with the Borough Manager and department heads. During Borough staff meetings, MSG shares thoughts on community priorities based upon their many interactions with the community.
The first Gettysburg Christmas Festival, chaired by MSG Director Roger Lund, also exemplifies the importance of this partnership. Businesses, non-profits, community members, sponsors, hotels and visitors have indicated that the festival was a success and an economic boost to the county. This success could not have happened without the teamwork between the Borough and MSG. Charles Gable was on the Festival Steering Committee and recognized when the Facebook activity grew to more than 100,000, that the festival was turning into a community-wide opportunity that the Borough needed to support, and that they did.
The growing relationship between the Borough and MSG has produced undeniable results in 2018. You cannot quantify the value-added that working as a team offers. The intangible benefits for our community are priceless.