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Lock Haven, surrounding areas not missing a beat

LOCK HAVEN — The city of Lock Haven will not be holding back from any projects this year to help bring the community together with a more accountable, sustainable and accessible city, according to Greg Wilson, city manager.

One of the focuses of this Clinton County city includes a new reference tool, “Good Neighbor Guide,” that will soon be hitting the front doors of its residents.

This effort is to become a more in-tune community of “good neighbors” by having a short list of ordinances around grass and snow removal, sidewalks, pets and swimming pool guidance.

The city also plans to share more information on their website regarding committee meeting minutes and schedules, local and regional partnerships, employment, water quality and watershed management updates, as well pensions, human resources and other council-related information.

“As Cynthia Duncan’s studies have shown it that when residents are involved in trusting, egalitarian relationships with their community, it creates an environment where economic development can take place,” Wilson said. “That’s important, but it gets to the heart of what everyone wants: a sustainable local economy.”

Larger capital progress includes paving and resurfacing East Water Street, which is supported by a Community Development Block Grant, refurbishing Fallon Alley from East Main Street to Water Street parking lot and focusing on stormwater infrastructure.

The business district has high hopes for 2021.

“We are very optimistic,” Julie Brennan, chamber and tourism director of the Clinton County Economic Partnership, said. “During 2020, as hard as things were, wearing masks, social distancing … we had a number of new retail stores open.”

Though some city favorites were lost with the pandemic, stores like Skeleton Key Boutique and Momoyo Otsu have been making waves for women’s clothing, a new men’s clothing store opened, new bakeries and even a gaming store opened on Main Street in Lock Haven.

“Downtown has continued to draw people in,” Brennan said. “We are looking forward to making our downtown unique and for it to continue to prosper.”

“We are optimistic that 2021 is going to be good for manufacturing,” Mike Flanagan, president of the partnership, said. “We don’t know what this pandemic is going to continue to look like, but we hope to continue to grow … hoping to get back to somewhat normal around here.”

The partnership has also been working on a full year campaign in 14 targeted sites within a four-mile radius to show all of the opportunity that the county has for activities and tourism.

“We have a lot of opportunities for outdoor activities,” Brennan said. “We are seeing a lot of interest in our area.”

Loganton provides many privately owned camps and ground for people to have a COVID-safe stay away from home; McElhattan and Wayne Township have the Nature Park with its butterfly garden and fish pond, as well as the beautiful Riverwalk in Lock Haven.

Some events that were cancelled or modified last year will be happening this summer and fall including the Best of Clinton County event on June 26 and the Lock Haven JAMS Festival on Aug. 13 and 14, Marie Vilello, Downtown Lock Haven Inc. manager, said.

Downtown is also holding the Hometown Hero Banner Ceremony on Aug. 28.

“There seems to be some kind of magic happening in Downtown Lock Haven during this COVID pandemic,” Vilello said. “Downtown is very excited and the future is looking bright for small town communities. We look forward to being the leaders in this endeavor and having many communities follow our lead.”

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