John McGee, chairman for the Downtown Caldwell Organization (DCO), talked about that committee's function and the progress of effort for downtown Caldwell at our October 15th meeting.  This committee along with Rotary with Bob Carpenter raising funds from our club members, other community organizations, businesses, and interested parties brought Roger Brooks to town after raising $65,000 to hire Brooks to study our community to help the community "brand" itself to spur economic growth.  The mission of the DCO is to develop recommendations to spur economic development in downtown Caldwell.  There are 8 people on the committee and they meet once a week.  Fellow Rotarians Chris Batt and Bob Carpenter are on this committee.
     The King's property has been cleared, filled in, and packed down to prepare for the possibility of the creation of a permanent public plaza project. According to Roger Brooks, a plaza is the key for community "place-making" and identity.  A plaza has the ability to become the "heart and soul" of the community and can be successful, if it is heavily programmed with activities year round.  There are thoughts of having an ice skating rink in the winter and an area for  programs and activities year round.  This is where the "Branding" comes in to help with marketing efforts to create that type of activity.  There were 1,440 responses to the community survey to help determine our community's thoughts and interests.  Brooks was impressed that the effort to bring him here was "grass roots" from individuals and businesses, and not by a chamber or city. The next step is to create the initial plaza design by the end of the month.The time is right to get this thing off the ground.