Survey shows Waynesboro wants improvements

July 31, 1997


Staff Writer, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Early results of a survey of Waynesboro residents show that many like its small-town friendliness and historic ambience.

But some say there should be more consolidation of services between Waynesboro and Washington Township, and that the town should draw lessons from other area towns that have faced some of the same kinds of problems.

The survey was sent to 400 residents by Waynesboro Mainstreet, Inc. a group of about 100 downtown merchants, professionals and business owners. William Dick, a local attorney and Mainstreet president, said the initial report represents remarks from the first 88 respondents.


The two-question survey asked residents to name Waynesboro's greatest assets and say what they would do if they were borough manager.

Typical answers to the first question included the Renfrew museum and park, small-town ambience, its friendly people, the town square, its historic architecture and older homes, easy access to metropolitan areas and its low crime rate.

The Mainstreet program was spawned by the exodus of Routzahn's Department Store, J.C. Penneys, and McCrory's from the same block of West Main Street in the spring of 1996.

"It devastated the downtown area. Boom, boom, boom, everything just went. Then the Christian Light Store closed," Dick said.

The Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club formed groups to do something and those groups later merged into Mainstreet Waynesboro, he said.

Initial Mainstreet projects included replacing trees and lights downtown, Dick said.

Survey responses mention those improvements.

Not all comments were favorable. A few respondents said Greencastle was a better place to live than Waynesboro and some said Waynesboro should not only copy Greencastle, but Mercersburg, Pa., Emmitsburg, Md. and Carmel, Calif.

Among things residents would change if they had the authority of the borough manager would be improved parking and consolidation of services, particularly police services with Washington Township.

Other suggestions were improvements to downtown property, the elimination of parking meters, more parking, sychronized traffic lights, better clothing stores, a historic downtown district, and leaving Public Square as it is.

Dick said the committee is compiling a report on the second batch of responses now coming in.

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