Survey asks what public wants in downtown Selbyville
Selbyville could be on the cusp of a major downtown boost. As local leaders brainstorm how to revitalize the old shopping district, they are asking for public input. Both residents and visitors to Selbyville are being invited to fill out an online Downtown Development Survey.
“We want to know what you think will make this town a place people will continue to want to live, work and visit,” the website announces.
The survey is hosted by a Selbyville Downtown Development coalition, a group of residents, business owners and civic leaders who are helping create a vision for Selbyville’s future. The project will build toward a downtown rejuvenation, aiming to make Selbyville more of a destination for locals and visitors alike.
There are only about five questions, primarily asking what people want to do or see in Selbyville. People can share their opinions on playgrounds, retail stores, medical access, community events, history/museums, public parking, transportation and more.
“We’re honestly looking for everybody” to respond, said business owner Leigh Scott. “Everybody has different opinions on how big they want their community to get.”
What do people want, and what potential challenges should business and civic leaders consider in the future? Is there enough parking, or do people want bike paths?
“How are people getting to the town, and how are we going to keep them in town?” Scott said. “Are we looking for more restaurants or more shops? Or are they looking for medical facilities, … more parks or running trails?”
People can win prizes from the survey, too. The survey can be completed anonymously, or people can enter their name and contact information to enter a prize drawing for several gift cards to local restaurants and businesses. The prize entry deadline is Monday morning, Dec. 23, but responses to the survey will be collected into early January.
The prize deadline is meant to entice as many responses as possible before the next coalition meeting, on Jan. 7.
“I would encourage people to fill it out, because the more voices — it’s that many more people helping us move forward for the future,” Scott said. “There’s just a lot happening in Selbyville in the next few years.”
Anybody else interested in helping the committee — either by participating or helping to advise — is welcome to attend that public meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 7, at 3 p.m. at Selbyville Town Hall.
The project is part of a broader effort to pursue Downtown Development District grants. If approved, the State would provide investment money toward certain projects that are known to revitalize business or residential areas. Millions of private dollars have been leveraged because of the state grants, leading to overall improvement of neighborhoods. The Delaware General Assembly created the program to spur private capital investment in neighborhoods and help build stable communities.
The application period for the grants is expected to reopen sometime in the next year, so the coalition needs to begin the massive application packet now.
“I think Selbyville is certainly moving in the right direction, but we still have some downtown growth to do, to revitalize the downtown,” Scott told the Selbyville Town Council recently. “I think we need a vision and a plan.”
The coalition will create a unified plan and partnership (including some local government incentives) for downtown improvements, if Selbyville were to win one of the final few Downtown Development District slots.
Even if Selbyville isn’t selected, “We’re still going to be a lot more organized on how we want the town to move forward,” Scott said.
By Laura Walter