By SHANNON WATKINS
Improvements and development were the main themes for old business discussed at Tuesday night’s Pulaski Town Council meeting.
Town Engineer Bill Pedigo said he had gone to the YMCA pool area with superintendants from his shop to look at the painting project. The YMCA’s pool area needs old paint removed and new paint applied extensively.
According to Pedigo, they were able to help the Y come up with some ideas, although the Engineer’s office does not have equipment that the Y would need, such as scaffolding. He said since the meeting, he has not heard back from the Y, so he is not sure what stage the project is currently in, though he suggested he might be able to call some rental places to help them secure needed equipment.
Councilman Greg East asked, “You were offering your expertise?”
“Yes, that’s all that they were asking for,” said Pedigo. “We just don’t have any of that (needed equipment)—scaffolding, lifts, that type of thing.” He said that the Engineer’s office has pressure washers, but not the kind that would blast paint off walls.
Councilman H.M. Kidd asked about sandblasting the pain off, but Pedigo advised it would be better to use pressurized water to remove paint, which would leave less debris.
The Route 99 retail feasibility study was briefly raised, with a reminder of council’s meeting with VDOT next week from Town Manager John Hawley. They then turned to discussion of updating the business recruitment packet, which is a bundle of information given to any business the town is attempting to convince to establish itself in the area.
Hawley said he had sent out an email to the Chamber of Commerce asking what kind of info they thought should go put into the packet. The Chamber has their own welcome package to be included, said Hawley.
Some other ideas raised for inclusion in the packet were the Route 99 retail feasibility report, the Gall report, the 2008 economic restructuring report and information from CBRE, a company that helps corporations find viable real estate to move into. Hawley said that CBRE would be able to help with recruitment for Pulaski Plaza, providing income and demographics for the location within different mile radiuses. He also asked for feedback from the council about what to put in.
“This is a lot of data,” said East. “I think we want the pertinent information. One thing we have to be careful about is we don’t stuff a bunch of statistics in an envelope.” He advised making it eye-catching and colorful. Vice Mayor Joseph Goodman advised making it available online as well.
Councilwoman Heather Steele said she might be able to meet with from her company (Tractor Supply Co.) to find out what they find interesting and would want to see in such a packet.
“If we get their initial attention, they’ll look at this,” said Hawley of potential businesses. He stressed the importance of the Route 99 study as a part of their efforts.
The potential wisdom of branding was raised by Economic Developer John White. “What appeals to me is the two- to- three-page glossy summary,” he said. “I think we’re still looking for an identity. This will cost a little money, but bringing someone like (marketing expert) Thomas Belcher in, who does this sort of thing, may be very valuable to us.”
Goodman said it would likely run close to $50,000 to hire someone to help the town create a brand identity, consisting of such things as logos and slogans, but it might prove helpful.