By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
The City of Parsons has another feather to put in their hat due to the diligence and vision of several members of the municipality. Kingwood, Meadow River Valley region, Monticello neighborhood of Clarksburg, New Martinsville, and Parsons are the newly recognized Blue Print Communities joining veterans to the program Bluefield, Princeton, and Richwood. To be considered as a Blueprint Community, there was an application process followed by a visit by the Blueprint Team through WV Hub. “It was extremely competitive, but I had confidence in our city,” stated Dr. Cynthia Kolsun, Executive Director of Parsons Revitalization Organization (PRO), “I’m really excited about this.”
According to wvhub.org, the initiative not only supports teams to build a step-by-step strategy, but also provides the training and connections to resources needed to help local leaders create sustainable and thriving communities. Teams are made up of community residents; members of local and regional organizations; local government officials; FHL Bank member institution partners; and others. Those partnering with Parsons to qualify them for this recognition and formulate the team consist of PRO, the City of Parsons, Woodlands Development, Citizens Bank of WV, Tucker Community Foundation, Tucker County Development Authority, St. George Clinic, and Stevens Realty with Debbie Stevens serving as the chair of the team.
Those selected into this role as a Blueprint Community gains the advantage of the funding opportunities and grants it qualifies the city for. Those in the program had to be recognized as an area moving in the right direction that the team feels they can work with and coach to obtaining the city’s goals.
The first year in the program Kolsun explained is spent studying the data and working together moving the town in the right direction. The second year will be focusing on the high priority areas to make Parsons a desirable place to live and visit. “We want Parsons to return to be a city that the flood hasn’t been through,” Kolsun confirmed. “We’re wanting to do the very best we can to move forward, especially with what citizens want.
“We worked hard to put together a good team,” Kolsun stated. “It takes hard work and vision and we have that.” “We’re going to a number of trainings this first year to look at data and studies. Coaches will look at that info to see what direction the citizens want Parsons to go in,” Kolsun explained. “We want to do what we can to make the city of Parsons a viable downtown area.”
The ten member team will be traveling to a two day training the end of May in Bridgeport to kick start the initiative. Their goal is to accentuate and show case what Parsons has to offer. “We’ve got fantastic people in our community and that’s our greatest resource,” Kolsun said. “I see so many good things coming Parsons’ way.”