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Thrive Hempstead County meets Monday evening to discuss ideas for area improvements

Thrive Hempstead County, an organization whose purpose is to improve conditions for the county’s 20,065 citizens, gathered on the first floor of UAHT’s Hempstead Hall Monday at 5:30 p.m. to develop ways to carry out its Five Year Plan.

The organization’s five-year plan was released in 2020. Its making, according to a preface written by then Hope Mayor Steve Montgomery, included the work of 100 volunteers from the community. Concentrating on the sectors of Education, Quality of Life, Tourism, Public Projects and Economic Development, the goals for each sector are divided into tiers, with Tier 1 goals being “immediate goals that can be quickly accomplished with existing resources and personnel, Tier 2 goals being “short term goals that require some time, involve reaching out to other entities, and securing commitments and/or funding from public/private resources” and Tier 3 goals being “long term goals that require a large scale effort over an extended time period, substantial funding, and significant public and private resources beyond what is locally available.”

About 20 people came for Monday evening’s session. Steve Montgomery, now a member of the City of Hope Board of Directors, began the proceedings by saying the plan, printed copies of which were on hand for each attendee, was meant to be a living document. The goals can be adjusted and added to.

“This is for us, the citizens of Hempstead County, not just the ones that are holding office.” Montgomery said. “As you go out to the public, mention this to them, say ‘If you get a chance, come to these meetings. Let’s find out what we can do on this.'”

Beckie Moore, of the Klipsch Museum of Audio History and one of four Co-Chairs of Thrive, asked that the attendees to gather into committees for each of the plan’s concentration areas, put their names and email addresses on sign-up sheets and begin discussing ideas to carry out the goals listed in the plan under their respective concentrations. Montgomery told the groups to begin meeting until about 6:20 p.m., then reconvene again in the larger room.

At the end of the 40 minutes in separate rooms, the groups returned to have their respective chairs report on what each group discussed:

Education–the members discussed ways of retaining teachers and creating a web-based calendar of all school events in the county.

Quality of Life–the members discussed grant-writing classes, community gardens and community theater.

Tourism–the members discussed signage capable of informing motorists about events taking place and seasonal publications that include an events calendar.

Public Priorities–the members discussed ways of obtaining funds for sewer system improvement in the county’s smaller communities.

Economic Development –the members discussed the need for funding to be able to compete with other counties in offering incentives to businesses deciding where to locate their facilities.

Thrive Hempstead County set June 20 as its next meeting time.

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