In the fall of 2016, Community Leaders in Helmsburg requested assistance from the County Redevelopment Commission (RDC) to help address distressed properties and support economic development through housing and commercial development related opportunities.
The community development initiative in Helmsburg is an excellent example of what “right” can look like. It was driven and led by community leaders with the support of local businesses, the community church, and the RDC. The RDC had the support of the commissioners, council, and APC, who had to approve the plan. The Surveyors office, Sheriff, Highway, and Health Department also provided their support.
The Helmsburg strategy aligns with the village and hamlet concept identified in the 1993 Draft Comprehensive Plan (pg 46).
Establishing a Community Development Corporation (CDC) provides Helmsburg citizens with even more control over their future. And Kudos to the Brown County Democrat for their continued coverage of the story.
Helmsburg provides the example for citizens of defining what they want and do not want in terms of community and economic development and taking action that results in everyone gaining or at least, not be any worse off. It was NOT an easy process but everyone worked together to make it happen. This example should be considered the Brown County Way.
The timeline and required paperwork – to include the Economic Plan and identification of the Economic Development Area:
The Helmsburg Plan aligns with the Draft 1993 County Comprehensive Plan. See Hamlet and Rural Village Development.
Dec 31, 2018. BCD, Letter: ‘We all should encourage this cooperative spirit’ by Bill Austin.
Dec 22, 2018. Facebook Post – Brown County Matters
The Brown County Democrat published a series of articles on actions to revitalize the Helmsburg Community
Articles — Brown County Democrat
Apr 17, 2018, Helmsburg sewer rates rising; public hearing this week
Aug 15, 2018. What’s Bean Blossom-Helmsburg Revitalization Project?
April 11, 2018. Helmsburg Community Development Corporation taking shape
Dec 19, 2017. Helmsburg group drawing up vision for community Helmsburg residents decided in November to form a formal association, Helmsburg Community Development. At their next meeting Dec. 6, they got a partial list on the wall of what they do and don’t want to see in their community.
Oct 24, 2017 – County gives Helmsburg new tools for redevelopment Helmsburg residents are taking more steps to take charge of their community’s future. Jim Kemp, a member of the Brown County Redevelopment Commission, reported on progress at the Oct. 12 RDC meeting. He and other RDC members have been assisting the Helmsburg Leadership Team in trying to solve some of the problems and goals they’ve identified, including improving the curb appeal of their community.
Aug 22, 2017. Residents plotting new vision for Helmsburg – Brown County DemocratDrug deals. Home-security problems. Short-term tenants who don’t have “roots.” Properties that aren’t being fixed up or cleaned up, which affects other properties’ values. … Helmsburg residents had no trouble listing the concerns they have about their community. … They also had no trouble coming up with another list at their last community meeting: Honesty/trust. Accountability. Security. Family/friends. Neighborhood. These are the “shared values” they have for their community.
July 11, 2017. COUNTY NEWS: Economic development area OK’d; redevelopment commission budget may be restored Helmsburg has been cleared to take the next steps toward its future after the Brown County Redevelopment Commission’s vote last month.The RDC voted unanimously June 22 to confirm an economic development area for Helmsburg. This allows the RDC to buy properties in Helmsburg that are “distressed” or “abandoned” and to convert them to livable, owner-occupied homes, or to clear them and build new properties.
May 31, 2017. Commissioners OK Helmsburg economic development area
April 25, 2017. Helmsburg properties bulldozed; local team charts future
March 15, 2017, Community leadership team taking hold of Helmsburg’s future
Jan 5, 2017, Helmsburg development: What is area’s next chapter?