Here are some of the points made by Mayor Linder in no particular order.
- Working arm of Chester’s economic development is CEDA and it needs to be stabilized.
- Use food, art, and music as an economic driver for the city.
- Create an environment where Home, School, College, Government, and Marketplace sparks development and entrepreneurism.
- Major focus on developing the downtown area with a historical and cultural theme and with a mix of residential and business use.
- Build a parking garage near the transportation center in hopes of getting Amtrak to make a stop in Chester.
- Buildings are not being torn down because of lack of money.
- Create a walkway from Ethel Waters park to Upland.
- Has not seen the plans for Deshong property but knows there is a plan.
- Form partnerships with the business community, Widener University, the county, and as many resources available to work together.
- Turn Chester into a hub of entrepreneurial activity.
- In 4-8 years create a $3 billion build out of Chester.
- By faith, there will be 2000 new jobs in Chester in the next few years.
- Applied for millions in grants to perform economic development studies.
- City is willing to take over the school district but will not allow the school district to be dumped on them.
- Because the school district fails to educate doesn’t mean learning should stop.
- Create a school of culinary arts using the kitchen in city hall.
- Hiring 5 veteran cops. Getting 5 to 12 cops off of desk duty and back on the streets.
- He did not know the Chester Business Association had as many members as it does and was made aware that the Chester Business Association has a committee to revitalize the business district which he intents to work with.
There were only a few questions from the audience, but two people suggested that a new business district should be built in another area of the city.
I’ve been writing about that for 6 years. I never knew other people felt the same way.
As Mayor Linder alluded, the money is on Widener’s campus. So, I ask again, why no build your new downtown near the campus, creating a college town environment? With the college, access to I-95, and proximity to a large number of existing residents, it seems like a no-brainer.