NEWSLETTER - september 2012
I can't believe that summer is almost gone! As elsewhere in the country, it's been HOT in the east, making for high electric bills, delayed planes and all the other nuisances that come along with the season. However, it's also been a great time for being with family and friends - at picnics and BBQs, on the boat, at the beach, and even a few weddings.
It has also been a summer of uncertainty in the business world with the partisan bickering in Washington, financial turmoil in Europe and a general lack of enthusiasm on the part of American consumers. Both public and private investment in infrastructure and new construction is stagnant, leading to delays in planning and implementation. Hopefully, once the elections are over with, the country can get back on track and start moving ahead again.
Downtown & Riverfront Revitalization Plan, Decatur, Alabama
RKG is pleased to report the recent successes enjoyed by one of our past clients, the City of Decatur, Alabama, as it continues to implement its downtown revitalization plan. The "Envision Decatur" downtown revitalization plan, which was prepared by HNTB and RKG Associates in 2004, has set the direction and course for a number of successful initiatives. Coming off the momentum of the planning process, the City's newly-formed downtown redevelopment authority has gone on to raise $2.7 million in private and public funds as seed money for several revitalization projects. Other successful initiatives include:
* Ingalls Harbor and Park - The City developed a new marina development along the Tennessee River to capitalize on its popular, but underutilized riverfront. Utilizing a designated tourism and lodging task, the City is able to pay the $4 million project bond in just 4 years. The harbor is now an outdoor events area, a landing area for riverboats and an outdoor pavilion for the nearby riverfront convention center.
* Decatur School of Fine Arts - Based on RKG's recommendation that the City develop its local performing arts assets and create a school for the performing arts, the City has created an downtown arts district and is now working with Calhoun Community College on the construction of a $10 million Calhoun/Athens State Fine Arts School in the downtown.
We are very happy about the City's recent successes and know that they will be successful in the future.
Vice President and Principal Kyle Talente, recently returned from vacationing in Hawaii with his wife Bari. As an avid scuba diver, Kyle enjoyed the daily dives in the crystal blue waters off the big island. Getting up at 5:30 a.m. every morning to meet the dive instructor was a little harder to get used to. If you see Kyle, ask him if you can watch his underwater dive videos.
Russell Archambault, Vice President and Principal, was recently named to the Federal Outreach Advisory Committee Redevelopment Subcommittee of the Association of Defense Communities (ADC). ADC is the leading organization serving the needs of communities impacted by federal military base closures, realignments and expansion. The FOAC is the liaison group representing the interests of military impacted communities before the military services, Department of Defense and the Congress.
Russell Archambault and President Craig Seymour represented RKG Associates at the ADC Annual Conference in Monterey, CA in August. Craig participated in a presentation on Redevelopment Financing and was a speaker and facilitator at an Innovation Workshop on Sustainable Planning.After the ADC conference, Craig and his wife Susan drove down the Big Sur coastline and toured the Hearst Castle ("wow!"), saw whales spouting, and observed elephant seals on the beach. On the 26 mile drive from the coast to the wineries of Paso Robles, the temperature went from 61F to 108F - talk about extremes!