City committees unveil what lies ahead for the community - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

City committees unveil what lies ahead for the community

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CARTHAGE, Ill. (WGEM) - It's a struggle many rural towns have to deal with, a declining and aging population, but one Tri-State city is looking for ways to keep its hometown alive.

It's a town almost 200 years old, and there's concern that if nothing is done to help make the city more attractive, the area will see the same problems. That's why Community Development Director Amy Graham helped organize a town meeting to address certain issues.

"We have lost population. We have also realized our population is aging so attracting young families is extremely important," she said. 

Residents and the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs came together to form the Carthage Works meeting.  It's a way to show people what types of strategies they've come up with to help the city grow, such as expanding agricultural businesses, downtown revitalization, and entrepreneurship. 
   
"We do have several assets here in Carthage that we want to capitalize on and through those assets we're able to develop and promote these particular projects," Graham said.

Graham said the city's future isn't something they can leave to chance.  Carthage resident Chenille Saunders is optimistic about the plans, hoping it will not only help the city but also her family.  

"I'd like to see my kids grow up in a town that has more people coming in and have the tourism grow just a little bit so they have a little more culture. I am a culture person and I would like to see more culture coming in," Saunders said. 

Graham said some of the projects can be done quickly while others can take as long as 30 years.

The city is now looking to the community for volunteers to help with efforts for the city's growth.

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