Video series aims to educate citizens and advocate for change in Haltom City
HALTOM CITY, TX, August 31, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — According to Haltom City’s website, “In recent years Haltom City has enjoyed record growth in terms of economic development. Many of these developments have recently been completed while others are in the construction process. There are numerous other developments in the planning mode as well.”
Sounds great, right? The problem is that while Haltom City’s leadership has been focused on growth and progress in the newer areas of the city, the southern and central corridors have been in a continued spiral of decline. According to HUBA, a written Concept Plan is urgently needed to tackle this detrimental and as yet unaddressed state of affairs.
HUBA has submitted suggestions to the city council and created a series of short videos aimed at educating the citizenry and advocating for change. In a 4-minute video produced by Make Haltom City Thrive Again and entitled The Concept Plan – Defining Metrics to Measure Initiatives – Making & Implementing a Plan, founder Ron Sturgeon notes that when it comes to HUBA’s ideas, “the city never ever acknowledged them, never wanted to talk about them, never wanted to meet with us…” He stresses the need for a written Concept Plan that includes milestones, dates, and accountable parties, adding that a lot of the ideas that have already been presented to the city council could be done quickly and inexpensively.
According to Sturgeon, one of the problems faced is that city officials have always said that business owners that don’t live in the city do not have a seat at the table. Jason Steele, one of the city employees and a spokesperson for the city, has repeatedly said that he does not want the businesses making money off the residents. Adds Sturgeon, “These attitudes create a huge disconnect and are directly related to the high vacancy rates and abundance of older vacant buildings.”
Long term resident Carmelina Carrille notes: “We came to Haltom City in 2004. Since then many stores and businesses are closed… we have to go to other cities to get what we need, I mean like movies up to date, stores, recreation for our teens… we have to leave our tax dollars somewhere else.” Says Jacqueline Gowins, “We have ‘growth and progress’ on 820. What about 121, Haltom Rd, Belknap, Denton Highway? You can’t focus on one small section of the city and call it good.”
To date, workshops and hearings on new ordinances have generally not been open to the public or business owners. But as outlined in the video, a Concept Plan would require that the city council first recognize that there is a problem, define and measure specific issues, and discuss possible solutions. Full stakeholder participation, including residents and business owners who have invested in Haltom City, is the single best way to accomplish this goal. Cities across America are all dealing with revitalizing their older areas, and many have made big progress towards that goal. A few Google searches will yield lots of success stories, after careful planning by their city councils. Haltom City’s leadership and the council apparently aren’t interested in such success, which could be accomplished at almost no cost to the city, by collaborating with all stakeholders, according to Joe Palmer, Communications Director for HUBA.
About Haltom City
Haltom City is a diverse, majority working-class city located between Dallas and Fort Worth in Tarrant County, TX. Haltom City is minutes from both the DFW Airport and Downtown Fort Worth with direct access to major highways including I-820 and SH-121. Due to an outdated and restrictive use matrix that discourages new business and deters growth, several areas of Haltom City have seen a decline in small businesses which provided goods and services and were a significant source of jobs, including the once-thriving automotive industry. However, Haltom City can reverse this trend and should prioritize development of inner-city land and vacant buildings, particularly in the major corridors close to the city’s center. The city is financially healthy with a capable manager and staff who would like to see diverse business development occur and need the support of the City Council to make it happen.
About Make Haltom City Thrive Again
The Make Haltom City Thrive Again is a movement to return prosperity to the older parts of South and Central Haltom City by luring the small businesses that have left over the past decades back to Haltom City. A vibrant business community not only allows for greater employment and choice of goods and services, but also can ease the tax burden on residents. The movement is led by local entrepreneur and business owner Ron Sturgeon. For more on Sturgeon’s ideas and background, check out his book, Keeping the Lights on Downtown in America’s Small Cities and watch the videos on his Facebook page. Ron is also the founder of the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) which represents existing business interests in Haltom City and promotes growth of diverse businesses. HUBA is not a political action committee and does not endorse candidates. If/when Ron endorses candidates, he will do so on his own via the Make Haltom City Thrive Again organization.
About Haltom United Business Alliance
Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) wants to give members of Haltom City’s business community an advocate and to keep those businesses informed about issues that affect them. They want to make sure Haltom City is business friendly and nurtures small business growth, including automotive businesses in the industrial districts, and bring more restaurants including breweries and eventually a major grocery store to the city. New businesses and growth in existing businesses will create a stronger tax base which will allow the city to pay its first responders wages that are competitive with surrounding cities while improving Haltom City’s facilities and infrastructure. HUBA believes that the southern and central parts of the city need a revitalization plan, to prevent further degradation in those areas, and wants that to happen before the inner-city experiences increased crime and more blight. As retail and office uses are in decline, it’s more critical than ever to attract new businesses. They believe that such a plan requires a strong relationship and support of the business community. Anyone who owns a business in Haltom City is eligible to join HUBA. Dues are $20 annually or $50 for a lifetime membership, and membership is 100% confidential. To join, contact Joe Palmer at (682) 310-0591 or by email at [email protected]. Visit the group’s Facebook at Haltom United Business Alliance.
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