Category Archives: City of Bremen

Making bremen a destination part 2

this is the second part of the report from Bill Davis from the Chamber of Commerce.

Randy.

The Town of Bremen…A Destination Part 2

By: Bill Davis – President Bremen Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

In my last article I ended with the three new initiatives the Chamber would undertake in 2009,

  1. Take on the challenge of design, funding and implementation of an improvement to our town entrances. This would include the West Side at 106, North Side at 331, and the East Side near where the Depot will be housed.
  2. Develop a marketing plan for the Town of Bremen that will promote our town as a destination for business, individuals seeking a great place to live, and visitors that are looking for a town to visit
  3. Assist the Town of Bremen in developing a downtown redevelopment plan that will attract new investment and commerce.

The town entrance project is in full swing with the help of Bremen’s own Matthew VanSoest an architecture fellow at Ball State University. The project would involve new signage and landscaping at each of the towns entrances. We are seeking input from community members that have experience in either of these areas to assist us.

As far as the marketing plan project this involves establishing our most compelling assets and building upon them. I will attempt to summarize the strengths identified this year at our Community Development Conference under some general categories of hard assets, soft assets, and Attractions/Programs.

Hard Assets

  • Newly renovated school building
  • Bremen’s own electric and water facilities
  • New soccer field, tennis courts, and swimming pool.
  • Lake of the Woods
  • Good Parks System
  • Modern Library
  • Retirement Center / Independent Living Facility
  • State Police Post and Post Office
  • Senior Center and Low Income Apartments
  • 18 Hole Golf Course
  • Lutheran School
  • Modern Fire and Police Department
  • New Hospital and Doctors Hospital
  • Farms and Farm Land
  • Multiple retail and dining establishments
  • Strong Industrial Base
  • Local Food Pantry
  • Banks and Car Dealership options
  • Popular Campground

Soft Assets

  • GOOD Town
  • Bedroom Community
  • School System Size
  • Skilled Workforce
  • Good Spiritual Community Base
  • Low Tax Rate
  • Clean Water and Sewers
  • Growing Latino Population
  • ESL educational programs
  • Amish Community
  • Progressive Town Council
  • Strong Health Care System
  • Church Collaboration
  • Very Self Reliant in taking care of its own people
  • Amazing youth sports programs
  • Community PRIDE
  • Self Sustaining Town
  • Great Place to raise children
  • Low Crime Rate
  • Close to various modes of transportation (Air,Rail, Highway)

Attractions and Programs

  • Firemen’s Festival and Parade
  • Koontz Antique Tractor Show
  • Kiwanis Club Monthly Travelogue and Weekly Meetings
  • Letter Carrier Food Drive
  • Personal Care Product Drive
  • United Way Campaign
  • 4 Preschool and pre-K Programs
  • Annual Holy Walk
  • Annual Christmas Lighting Ceremony
  • Annual Homespun Holiday Retail Days
  • Dollars for Scholars Fundraiser
  • Historic Bremen Group
  • Annual Leadership and Youth Awards Dinner
  • Bremen Day at the Cove
  • Lake of the Woods Recreation
  • Yellow River Kayaking (Proposed)
  • Revitalized Downtown Shopping District (Proposed)
  • New Community Center (Proposed)

Making bremen a destination

This article is from the Bremen chamber of commerce web site, and it is some interesting reading if you are interested in the town itself. there is a second part that I will post as well shortly.

Randy

The Town of Bremen…A Destination

By: Bill Davis – President Bremen Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

In 1990 Ball State University assisted various members of our community in evaluating the Town of Bremen’s assets and liabilities to document the direction future planning would take us. Some highlights included; downtown revitalization, commercial and industrial development, transportation and infrastructure, housing and quality of life. I would like to briefly summarize each of these committees Policy Statements & Recommendations from the 1990 plan.

Downtown Revitalization Committee

  • Establish “Downtown Bremen as the heart of the community
  • Upgrade the downtown public environment as a symbol of community pride, creating a pedestrian friendly and aesthetically pleasing downtown.

West End Commercial District Committee

  • Develop a district corridor plan to guide the public and private investments which reinforces the commercial districts sense of place. A subset of this recommendation was to develop a streetscape plan for this area of town.
  • Create a funding mechanism to generate infrastructure and improvements in the district.
  • Upgrade the edge and connections to adjacent land use. Work with property owners to improve this area.

Housing Committee

  • Provide opportunities for reinvestment and revitalization of existing older housing stock.

Transportation & Infrastrucure

  • Develop a “Thoroughfare Plan” for the Town of Bremen.
  • Improve the intersection of US 331 and US 6 to better accommodate truck access to the community.
  • Develop a landscaping plan for US 6 that creates a linear gateway and town edge.

Industrial Parks Committee

  • Upgrade existing industrial parks.
  • Evaluate role of Industrial and community development
  • Create an industrial development strategy that considers industrial diversity and environmental impacts.

Quality of Life Committee

  • Maintain and reinforce the small town atmosphere.
  • Reinforce the community celebrations and festivals.
  • Continue to look for opportunities to expand the relationship between the community and the school system through recreational and educational programs.
  • Stimulate the development of community pride through heritage and cultural enrichment activities.
  • Continue joint community programs sponsored by local churches.
  • Create a greenway system linking existing parks and open space.
  • Create a master plan for parks and recreational facilities.
  • Build a Community Center that facilitates a broad range of indoor activities.
  • Continue the development of youth and senior activities

Although many projects took place back in the early 1990’s it is interesting to note that our first ever Community Development Conference in January 2009 brought to light many of the very same concerns. Before I review these results there was another group of caring community leaders that did a Community Analysis in 2004, our Kiwanis Club of Bremen. In their survey they uncovered to many needs to cover in this article but there were some similarities such as; the need for a community center that could serve our youth and seniors alike, the need to promote industrial growth for new jobs, and more park programs.

So here we are in 2009 with the same high aspirations for our community to grow and prosper. The Bremen Chamber of Commerce is attempting to take a lead role in driving change for the better. The first step was our Community Development Conference which was a starting point to identify the Towns accomplishments, strengths, weaknesses, external threats and prioritization of goals to enhance Bremen. I would like to summarize these under the headings of the 1990 BSU Plan to try and keep the grand plan in mind.

Downtown Revitalization

  • The group did not recognize any accomplishments.
  • The group identified one strength, the Towns low income housing downtown.
  • The weaknesses identified were an empty downtown, need to update the downtown lights, limited downtown parking, and lack of downtown directional signage.
  • The goal receiving the second most votes was the town needed to have a marketing plan that promoted Bremen as a destination.

West End Commercial District / Transportation & Infrastrucure

  • The group did not recognize any accomplishments.
  • The only strength discussed under this heading was a general comment about having a strong industrial base in Bremen for its size.
  • The number one goal voted on by the participants was to improve the Town Entrances which, of course, we have more than one that would require our attention.

Housing Committee / Quality of Life

  • The accomplishment and strengths identified are overwhelmingly relating to quality of life life in Bremen. From having a brand new state of the art hospital and now a Doctors Hospital to a new pool and tennis courts. The entire report can be read on line at www.bremenchamberofcommerce.com . The participants identified great parks, churches, our Community Foundation and United Way, or food pantry, and a soon to be relocated train station. The strengths continued until our facilitator from the State informed the group that we had identified more strengths than any other town she had facilitated in! This made me take pause and reflect on choosing to relocate here 10 years ago as being a wonderful idea.

As I have attempted to process all of this information I have come to some realizations; many leaders before us have contributed to Bremen becoming a place with more strengths than any other town in Indiana, and it will take strong leadership to continue adding to the list of strengths without having any fall off.

We at the Chamber are attempting to be a leader in change through our emphasis on uniting local businesses in an effort to advocate and support economic vitality while cultivating community prosperity and quality of life in Bremen. Based on the feedback we have received beginning in 1990 through our two sessions in 2009 we have added the following initiatives to our 2009 agenda;

  1. Take on the challenge of design, funding and implementation of an improvement to our town entrances. This would include the West Side at 106, North Side at 331, and the East Side near where the Depot will be housed.
  2. Develop a marketing plan for the Town of Bremen that will promote our town as a destination for business, individuals seeking a great place to live, and visitors that are looking for a town to visit
  3. Assist the Town of Bremen in developing a downtown redevelopment plan that will attract new investment and commerce.

We are hoping others from the community will come forward to assist us with these initiatives. Join us at our next Community Development Conference meeting on November 19th or call us at 546-2044 and speak to Trent Miles our Chamber Coordinator about how you can be of service.

Bill Davis

Li for liberty

I had this question come in through my contact form, and I am curious about it myself:

Just had a question, from the past.  I lived in Bremen when I was a kid (a long time ago)…  Our phone number started with LI6-nnnn   LI for Libery.  Phone numbers are still 546-nnnn  . Do you know why LI or Liberty?    Thanks!

If any readers know the answer please comment below!

Thanks.

Randy.

Making bremen a destination

I recently did a post on on what could be done to make this town more attractive to businesses & travelers.

I would really like to expand on the idea a bit more. Bremen has become stagnant as far as business growth. Most of the people I know around town say that if you want to do anything, you need to go somewhere else. Sad truth is that I have to agree. there are only a few businesses that cater to the residents, and fewer that attract travelers.

The big problem is that there really is no reason to visit Bremen for most of the year. We do have the Fireman’s Festival over Independence day, which brings in a decent amount of people, and we have the Tractor show,  every year, but other than those two events, there is little to actually bring in any business. I see this as a big problem in economic growth. We are hopefully nearing the end of the recession, and if all goes well, there should be Businesses starting up soon.

So how do we attract those business to Bremen? we have a few things going for us as a town. We do have a decent Hospital, we have a good School system, and we have a a fairly low crime rate, but what do we have other than that? Mostly what I see, is a lot of empty buildings where small businesses have started up, and shut down. the businesses we have, are not well known, other than to the community, and then sometimes, that is also not the case. Bremen really needs to grow.

So this brings up the question, what do we do to spark growth here in town? I attended the Community Development Conference in November, to see what kind of ideas the other community members had. The meeting was well presented, and passed on a lot of good information on what has been done in the past, and they did highlight a couple new projects that will help some.

The biggest thing that stood out at the meeting to me, was the lack of participation. There were few people in attendance, and there weren’t many ideas for the immediate future. It seems to me the best way to come up with ideas is to have good community communications, and participation. this may be the first step we need to take to get the community back on track to growth.

The Chamber of Commerce will be meeting on Wed, December 9, 7:30am – 8:30am uptown at the Italian Coffee bar. This meeting is open to the public, so I would encourage anyone that can make it to come & listen in. I am sure the board members would be glad to listen to any suggestions on how to make Bremen a Destination.

I would also like to hear any suggestions anyone has, in making the town attractive to others. The last time I posted on this, I got one response. I would really like to hear from anyone who has any ideas, no matter how small. we need all the information we can get.

Ask yourself, what you would do to make this town a better place to live, and a good place to start a business. if you have any ideas at all, please leave a reply at the bottom of this page! you can also use the feedback form if you wish to respond in private, but It would be better to use the reply at the bottom, so we can strike up a decent conversation on the matter.

Thanks for reading this, and check back here often. I am in the process of making this page more community oriented, and any suggestions on that would be great as well.

ChristmasLight_screenshot

Randy.

Bremen community

Greetings All.

I am just curious if anyone out there has suggestions on what could be done to make this town more attractive to businesses & travelers. Since the bypass has been put in, the traffic through town has dropped dramatically . that is both good and bad.  it’s great that we don’t have 18 wheelers running through town constantly, but its not as good for local businesses.

Does anyone have any ideas what would draw business into town?if you were passing by on 6, what would catch your attention & make you Visit?

Please feel free to comment!

Randy.

Bremen official web site

The City’s Official Web site is now up an running, and It looks pretty good. it’s been up a few weeks now, just never got around to blogging about it.  theydo have an events calendar, something that was sorely needed. now it just needs more events!

It’s come a long way, and still could use a few things, like an RSS feed, but it’s so much better than what we had before. I just hope it ends up being maintained.

Check it out!