Small Town and Rural Economic Development: A Case Studies Approach

By Peter V. Schaeffer; Scott Loveridge | Go to book overview
increase in school enrollments, increased school funding, and a total financial impact of more than $9 million in a town of just 450 people. This "Ohio Plan" was an example of a genuine partnership between public and private entities and one that Table Grove believed would work in their community too. The Table Grove Development Group expected to complete the legal requirements for setting up the TIF district and begin breaking ground for their first new home in the fall of 1998.
CONCLUSION
In Table Grove, community development has meant residents must assume responsibility for their community's future. At the same time, local leaders realized that goals have only been achieved through the prudent use of outside knowledge and resources, and by establishing effective partnerships among all of the public sector and private sector entities who have a stake in the community's future. The four key ingredients to Table Grove's success were:
1. Reliance upon the experience and intuition of the residents of the community to set a direction everyone can understand and a vision of the future the residents can share.
2. Willingness on the part of local residents to assume some risk, take a chance, and invest in the creation and activation of their community's plan of action.
3. Patience to establish the kind of learning environment necessary to keep everyone informed and engaged in the development process.
4. Commitment to the long term. Table Grove did not suddenly become what it was in 1993--it took years for the community to develop into what it was at that time. Likewise, local leaders understood it may be years before they have their grocery store, but their vision begins with creating a place where more people will one day call Table Grove their home.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FROM THE EDITORS
1. Where does the TIF money come from? The homeowners of the new houses built through TIF financing benefit from cheaper homes. Which institutions "pay" the costs of the TIF financing?
2. If the residents of Table Grove's objective was to have their own grocery store, would it make more sense to subsidize that grocery store (say, by purchasing the building and offering it rent-free) than by subsidizing medical care and housing? What are the advantages and disadvantages of Table Grove's approach?

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