LEETONIA - Despite a slowing national economy, the Leetonia-Washingtonville Chamber of Commerce is hoping to draw tourists and potential residents to the area by revitalizing some of the areas in town.
"People don't want to drive long distances so we're hoping they'll come here," said chamber President Heather MacNaughton.
The chamber has been working with village council to tear down some of the condemned homes in the village and has been working to lease the property next to the railroad tracks.
"We'd like to beautify that area. It used to be where trucks were parked, but we want to clean it up, put flags there and make it a park-like setting," MacNaughton said.
"It's hard to do economic development," MacNaughton said of the economy.
The chamber plans on conducting a membership drive and would like to have bus tours come into the village and visit the area and the coke ovens.
"We've done lunches and tours of the coke ovens before, and people love it here," MacNaughton said referencing the recent Tree City USA Awards ceremony By CASEY BARTO
Journal Staff Writer
"We've done lunches and tours of the coke ovens before, and people love it here," MacNaughton said referencing the recent Tree City USA Awards ceremony held in the village.
The Celtic festival usually held in the village has been canceled this year due to MacNaughton disbanding her pipe band.
Of the disbanding she said, "It's been 39 years I was ready."
Some of the events already in place include a pumpkin painting contest, chili cookoff and cornhole tournament, and music in the park. During the Christmas season, the chamber has music and caroling at Wick Park and also provides cookies and carriage rides around the park.
Over the past year, the chamber and its subcommittee, the revitalization committee, has been working to get condemned homes taken down, something MacNaughton feels has been a big accomplishment.
"We'd like to improve the look of the town and add cultural events. We want this place to be a draw for people. We want to make an environment where people want to come here."
To contact the chamber, call MacNaughton at (330) 427-1600.