Beach auditor seeks community, economy growth
BEACH--Though the skies are grey and the ground is covered in snow, there is something growing in Beach. "We call it 'community development,'" said Kim Gaugler, city auditor for Beach. "We used to call it 'economic development,' but this is based...
BEACH-Though the skies are grey and the ground is covered in snow, there is something growing in Beach.
"We call it 'community development,'" said Kim Gaugler, city auditor for Beach. "We used to call it 'economic development,' but this is based on community development."
The principle is simple-success inspires more success. Though the oil growth has slowed in recent years, Beach is looking to foster success in small, meaningful ways to grow and develop its downtown.
"We have Prairie Fire Pottery as an example," Gaugler said. "They're a very successful business and when they're successful, other businesses in the vicinity are successful."
Gaugler and other city planners recently attended a conference in Bismarck concerning downtown development, and came away with some new ideas to instill value and growth into Beach's downtown-Gaugler said that the goal is to avoid political quagmires and to let success "inspire" success.
"(There are) small things communities can do to improve that don't cost a lot of money-putting some benches in front of your business, the A-frame sign out in front," Gaugler said. "A statistic ... business sales increase 15 percent for businesses with A-frame signs out front. Just by putting it out in the sidewalk."
The Golden Valley Outfitters/Park Cafe on Main Street serves as a living example of value-adding to existing properties. Initially a western wear store, the cafe still sells boot leather and belts, but basks in a bouquet of beans and baked goods as well, courtesy of a comprehensive coffee shop that's been built in the back of the shop. Upstairs the owners LeAnn and Gene Allen rent out holiday apartments, turning every inch of the historic building into something valuable.
This is an example Gaugler wants the rest of the city to emulate.
"One thing as a city that we need to work on ... is the multi-use of a building," She said. "Especially the younger generation, they like to be able to walk to where they want. They want to walk to work, they want to walk to get groceries and mail ... we're going to try and focus on more walkability throughout the community."