Lewistown’s not dying

Dear Editor,

There has been a lot said lately about a dying downtown being a sign of a dying economy here in Lewistown. That is simply not the case. Our downtown isn’t dying and neither is our economy.

The hard fact is that downtowns all across America are in a state of flux, due largely to younger generations not getting into retail, and other businesses, that require store fronts in downtowns, current business owners finding it more profitable to liquidate than find someone to purchase their business, and the internet shopping phenomenon that has taken the world by storm and continues to grow. That doesn’t mean good things aren’t happening in Lewistown. I see a lot people moving back to the community to raise their families here, and find or create jobs here in order to stay.

The city council and “city fathers” cannot be blamed for a lack of business in the area. In fact, there seem to be more jobs on the Job Service page than we have people to fill them. On Oct. 25, there were 110 job openings ranging from $26 hourly to minimum wage. There are roughly 90 to 100 jobs listed most days. This is actually a sign of a growing economy, not a stagnant or dying one.

Old buildings on Main Street are under renovation, and other businesses are looking at buildings in the downtown, as well as on the edges of town. Rarely a day goes by at my family’s business where we don’t meet someone who has moved to the area or is looking at moving to the area.

We have so much to offer here. We have excellent schools, trails, fishing access (both in town and not far out of town), great parks, a newly remodeled pool and water slides, a brewery is in our immediate future, as well as a great new outdoor venue. And don’t forget our world-class hunting.

With over-all school enrollment up (families are moving here), and more jobs than we have people to fill them, I’d say the tide has turned and Lewistown is experiencing a slow and steady growth.

Lewistown isn’t suffering from anything any other community our size or larger isn’t having issues with. Our challenge is to approach the problems head-on and develop positive solutions, rather than blame others.

Charlie Pfau

Lewistown

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