An Example Of A Path For Pottstown

Oil City, PA is remaking itself into an Arts Community.  Something that Pottstown says it would like to be.  This community, which is half the size of Pottstown and in an economically challenged part of the state, is putting its money where its mouth is. 

Like Pottstown, Oil City was once an industrial community that has lost much of its industry.  Unlike Pottstown, it is much further away from a major city (90+ miles to Pittsburgh and 60+ miles from Erie).   The median household income in Oil City is $29,060 vs. Pottstown’s $35,785.  The household income for Oil City is $36,149 and Pottstown comes in at $45, 734.  Despite these challenges, Oil City is determined to reinvent itself to bring life back into the downtown and attract business.  Oil City offers relocation incentives to artists, and I really do mean financial incentives, to entice creative people to relocate there, start a business and buy a home.

Recently, our illustrious Zoning Board flatly denied a creative couple a variance to buy a home and operate two businesses out of said home.  A retail store and a by appointment only tattoo business.  Evidently we are too highfalutin to permit a by appointment only tattoo business in this “burg” so we said, “Nope, don’t want your kind in these parts.”  Thereby losing property taxes, the opportunity to fill a vacant home and discouraging artists from coming to Pottstown.  This couple heard Pottstown was the place to be, the bee’s knees etc…. Guess we showed them, didn’t we?  Wonder what they will tell their creative friends about Pottstown now!

What would Oil City do (WWOCD)?  Take a gander at their relocation incentive package and see for yourselves!

I hope somebody on Council or in Borough Hall reads this incentive plan and checks out their website.  It would be time well spent!


6 thoughts on “An Example Of A Path For Pottstown

  1. I live in the city next to Oil City, and allow me to say that what Joann Wheeler (along with the other partners) has done with the Oil City Arts Revitalization project has been amazing. She is a fabulous leader and if you’re in the area, make sure to set up an appointment to talk to her or better yet, drop by on an Open Studios day to see the amazing work that is being done there. (I’d be remiss if I didn’t do a bit of shameless self promotion. My blog focuses on the arts and culture of Oil City and the surrounding areas.)

  2. Thanks for reading. I linked to your blog.

    There are so many benefits to the arts. At least some Pennsylvania towns are visionary enough to embrace them path to revitalization. We just talk/fight here….nothing ever changes!

  3. As a resident and member of council, I urge you to come and check us out.
    If you are an artist looking to relocate, you could not do better.

  4. I did look over your relocation incentives and website. It is a fantastic opportunity.

    I was hoping to spur our community leadership to look this over and learn something from it, but that has not happened. I went through Oil City about 5 years ago on my way back from Erie. Tons of potential there! If it wasn’t so far away I would come back again. It’s a good six hours or so to get there, each way!

    Thanks for reading!

    Wishing you all continued success!

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