From aesthetics to economics: Rossville puts banners up to start city makeover
Banners are a way to promote the city to get businesses to relocate or start in the city
ROSSVILLE, Georgia (WDEF) – The city of Rossville wants to restore its former glory.
The question isn’t how, but when. It’s beginning with an aesthetic change, and with a new look comes a new attitude, and businesses might like what they see.
Back in the ’50’s and ’60’s, Rossville was considered the ‘crown jewel of Walker County.’ The best of everything could be found here. In that time since, a lot of things have changed. Businesses have come and gone, taking a lot of that municipal pride with it. Today, Mayor Teddy Harris says it’s high time to bring that municipal pride back so you don’t see blight, which is obvious.
Abandoned buildings. Properties razed with nothing to replace it. It may look bad to the average citizen. Rossville sees this as an opportunity to makeover the city. First, with banners, and, later, with businesses.
Rossville Mayor Teddy Harris: “I think the opportunities are here. It’s just that we need developers and investors to know what’s available here in Rossville. I know that we’ve had a previous economic developer or consultant working on that, and she’s brought a lot of that here. So, I think we’re on the radar now. It’s just a matter of landing that big opportunity.”
The owner of Rossville’s Roy’s Grill, Denise Evans, says, “If we could get people to stop back in Rossville instead of just passing through, would be the goal. Roy’s has a lot of people that come from all over the world just to see Roy’s and we try and send them through to the other areas that are historical and really promote the area and the tourism would be amazing.”
Roy’s Grill is one of the longest-standing businesses in Rossville. It’s been around 88 years, and she knows that this could be the start of something big. Not just for Roy’s, but all of Walker County.
“I’d love to see it grow a lot and keep its small-town, historical charm in the process of growing and expanding.”
Mayor Harris believes in the proverb “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” He and Tobey Hill, the director of Rossville’s Downtown Development Association, want restaurants to be the first wave of businesses to come into the city. They will start bringing employees, who will hopefully live in the area, and spend in the area.
Tobey Hill: “There are several great locations right now in Rossville that would make great restaurants and some of the things that we’ve noticed that would have prevented restaurants from coming here in the past is some outdated or legacy ordinances that make it cost-prohibitive or make it difficult for business owners to come into the city and that’s something that I feel like the DDA and the City Council are working together now to address some of those issues to make the city more appealing for restaurants and other types of businesses, too, to come into the city.”
Now that the Rossville banners have gone up across the city and on lampposts just about everywhere, this is when the economic development and recruiting of businesses begins. It’s not just going to help Rossville if it all works out, it’ll help small businesses like Roy’s Grill get more people to see and eat at the establishment.