In Greene County, the small town of Walstonburg hasn’t seen much growth in the last few years, but council members have plans to hopefully turn things around.
Barry Everett has lived in the small town for more than 10 years.
“Haven’t seen it grow much since we moved here in 2005,” he said.
Everett can remember when there was a grocery store, a bank and a pizza joint.
“We are typical small-town America,” said Roy Holloman, a town commissioner. “Big box stores have taken over.”
Holloman said they’re actively working to fill their buildings downtown.
About seven of them are empty, but they are privately owned.
“We as a town can’t afford to buy the buildings,” he said.
They’re looking at several grants that would help them buy the property and give business owners incentives to come in, get the buildings up to code and open up shop.
“There’s a need for small towns,” Holloman said. “We don’t want them to die out. We’re still breathing here.”
Holloman says after the start of the year they’ll be able to apply for a grant and see if they can get the ball rolling, which Everett is in favor of.
“It would be great to have more business,” he said. “You know, something to bring more folks around.”