Youth Council talks business
Dec 16, 2012 (The Reidsville Review - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Since the creation of the Eden Youth Council, members have been busy with local service projects and learning more about what the city can offer the youth population. Since the creation of the Eden Youth Council, members have been busy with local service projects and learning more about what the city can offer the youth population.
Economic Development Director Mike Dougherty gave the council a presentation on what he does for Eden in business recruitment.
Some of his initial accomplishments since his position was created in March 2002 include making Eden an NC Main Street Community, recruiting Dollar Tree, Bojangles, Dollar General in Draper Village and creating special events like the Pottery Festival, Ribfest and RiverFest.
Dougherty said some challenges Eden has in recruiting businesses stem from its population, demographic requirements, and median household income. He also explained how the increase in online sales has hurt local economies because they're unable to collect taxes on those sales.
"Sales in electronic books have increased to the point where sales in paperback books have decreased by 15 percent," he said. "An entire industry changed completely in about 25 years."
Dougherty asked council members what types of companies, enterprises or recreational centers they wanted Eden to have.
He said to council members, "Some things are doable and other aren't, but I don't get a perspective from people your age very often. It's your time to tell me what I should be working on in the morning."
Chairman Jesse Barnes said many young adults his age like to shop at stores that are already established in Greensboro and Danville such as American Eagle, Abercrombie and Fitch or Hollister. For a community the size of Eden, Dougherty said many of those stores are not viable.
When it comes to recreational opportunities, council member Jacob Scales gave a presentation on what members of his freshman class had to say on creating a youth center in Eden.
In an informal survey, Scales said freshman wanted a "teen club" sort of environment that included computers and counseling services. A couple of suggestions coming from the survey for teen hangouts in Eden were a bowling alley and laser tag.
Eden Councilman Jim Burnette said Scales started a good dialogue to get a solid base of information for what some of the youth are suggesting.
"This survey would have to be done meticulously or else you won't get the answers you want to receive," he said. "I think this is the start of something good that will help get that information in the future."
It was also suggested that instead of working to create an entirely new center, youth council members could work with directors of existing facilities to cater more to the youth population.
In other business, members discussed upcoming service projects. The group will be working to ring a Salvation Army kettle bell and helping to pack up Angel Tree boxes for local families. They are also finishing up a project to send care packages to soldiers serving overseas.
Service Committee member Laura Shumate asked Eden City Council members at last month's meeting to donate money to help with shipping costs. Each council member gave $20 to put toward the project.
The next meeting of the Eden Youth Council will be Jan. 7, 2013 at Eden City Hall.
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