Lewisburg Lawyer Brings Town Revitalization Experience To Pocahontas
Marlinton, WV – You may recognize the name of Paul Detch because he was the defense lawyer in Glen Wades highly publicized sexual abuse case. But last week he was back in Pocahontas County for a very different reason. He was here to talk about town beautification. The talk, sponsored by Create Pocahontas, was intended to encourage and kindle similar ideas in Pocahontas residents.
Detch is part of a group of residents responsible for the revitalization of downtown Lewisburg. He got his first taste of this process when he was elected President of the Lewisburg Chamber of Commerce. He says the original plan was purely economic, but took on historical aspects as it developed. He says there dissension in the ranks at first.
“One group wanted to have Colonial downtown Lewisburg, and they wanted to put up fake facades” says Detch. “The other side wanted to knock down half of Lewisburg and create more parking.”
Detch says they eventually dissolved the Chamber and created the Lewisburg Foundation, a group of private individuals working towards common goals. The evidence that it’s working can be seen in Lewisburgs’ downtown area where a number of thriving specialty shops, theatres and green spaces coexist side by side.
Detch says the focus needs to be not only on how to bring dollars into the community, but how to keep them here. He offered some ideas of his own.
Create better signage for tourists looking for the counties scenic areas
Get school kids involved in marketing the county through contests
Put displays in empty store fronts
And a rather unusual idea of using inflatable rubber tubes to hold back flood waters in low lying areas.
Detch says it comes back to the basic idea of thinking about the kind of town you’d like to live in. He says changes won’t happen overnight, but with consensus, change can happen and ideas can become reality.
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