Bellevue is a City on the Rise.
First of all, I want to point out that some very good things are happening in Bellevue. However, recently I read a post on one of our local Facebook pages “you know you’re from Bellevue when”. The post on the Facebook site started out with what I perceived as a negative outlook on Bellevue and why people might not be returning to live in Bellevue.
That perception, however correct or incorrect it might have been, in that individual’s mind, it was reality. It stirred some real emotions within me. How could anyone have that perception? There are so many good and positive things happening in Bellevue. Why would any resident living in Bellevue have that perception? What is it about negativity that makes it so attractive? Why do we find it easier to talk about how many people that were laid off 5 years ago from xyz corporation, then to talk about what a great local school system we have today? Or, why is it more interesting to read an article on police brutality than on the local police department buying Christmas presents for under privileged families? How do we change that perception?
Evidently there are those residents that have the perception that the downtown businesses have all closed and the streets have been rolled up and put away. But is that what’s really going on in Bellevue? The truth is we have to do a better job of marketing our City. We need to tell our story and it is a good story and it tells well. We have new businesses coming in to our downtown and they are making it. The Copper Top has proved it. Go there any morning and have a cup of coffee and a delicious cranberry muffin or glazed donut and see for yourself. Stop in at the Green Emerald and have a cup of chili during the Chili cook off and while you’re there stop down at the local Artisans gallery and view some of the local artists wares or walk down to the Golden Acorn and see some of the beautiful items they have for sale.
Bellevue Society for the Arts venue is one of the finest in the area and the productions are superb. Attend one for yourself. Whether you chose a cabaret or one of the recent productions such as Monty Python’s the Holy Grail, they are all very well done and a joy to attend. Everyone in the area should be making use of this asset.
The Bellevue Library is another major asset to the City. The residents of Bellevue have historically been very strong supporters of the library. The new expansion of the library not only will provide more space and upgrades to their IT capability; it cleaned up a very blighted area of downtown. The local young entrepreneurs have contracted to have a mural painted on the old JC Penny building across from the Library, and the owner of that building will be opening a new soda fountain, coffee shop shortly.
The preliminary work is done and construction on the new Bike Trail in town will commence this spring. The new $1.1 million trail will connect the present west bound trail on Rte. #177 to Clyde with the trail on Prairie Rd going east bound to Monroeville. You will be able to jump on your bike and travel out to the hospital or keep going all the way to Elmore.
The new Central Park will be the center of the downtown attractions. The Administration is in the final stages of obtaining a grant to use $250,000 of State Revolving Loan Fund money to light Sandusky Street, the new Central Park, Lyme Street, Fallen Soldiers Memorial and the Subway. The project will provide lighting and power in the Central Park while allowing the use of the park for, Arts in the Park, Saturday Night Music programs and all kinds of outside events. A local business has funded the pavilion/band stand as a center piece of the park.
The Bellevue Rec Center has expanded its Nautilus facility and programs both out at the Monroe Street building and the annex at the City Centre: indoor walking track, gymnastics, indoor baseball and softball practice area along with an indoor pole vaulting facility.
You see, Bellevue is addressing its quality of life issues. The citizens have provided for two new schools. A new grade school campus and middle School campus have been built off of Rte. #269, north. They connect with the present High School, Athletic Field House and football facility. (Both of which any small college would love to own.)
To go along with the quality of life issues, the administration along with a very active Bellevue Development Corporation have been able to obtain grants for a major new electrical substation capable of meeting Wilbert Plastics power needs. Wilbert has invested in millions of dollars of new equipment, allowing Wilbert to diversify its business and land a five year contract with the Ford Motor company. They now supply parts for the new Mustang adding more than 100 jobs to the Bellevue Plant.
Mitsubishi worked with the BDC and the State of Ohio to purchase the Bellevue Plant from A. Schulman securing 70 + jobs here in Bellevue. Mitsubishi continues to work with the BDC on future expansion and rail access to the property.
The owner of the building left vacant when Pamida left town has donated it to Goodwill. Goodwill will be utilizing the building as a consolidation, sorting and distribution center. Not only will the project utilize a vacant building but it will provide additional jobs to the community.
Norfolk Southern, Bellevue is in the process of finishing a $160 million dollar expansion project to the Bellevue yards. The project will add 275, well-paying jobs, to the area and allow NS to double the capacity of the Bellevue Yard.
The City has launched a new web site at www.cityofbellevue.com. Go out to the website and view some of the exciting, positive things that are happening to Bellevue.
You see, there are some very positive exciting things happening in Bellevue. However, to combat the negative perception, we have to continue to be positive. The next time you hear someone complain, point out the positive. Help be a marketing tool for Bellevue, speak of the positives. As the song use to say “eliminate the negative, accentuate the positive”.