Striving for a vibrant rural community with a strong social and economic center.
Pierpont Township is growing. The population in 2016 was 1,500 people, a 17% increase from 2010. Located in eastern Ashtabula County, Pierpont has 18,000 acres of scenic agriculture and forestry-based landscapes a short drive from the shores of Lake Erie and Pymatuning Reservoir. Pierpont Township has English and Amish agricultural and non-agricultural enterprises with potential to grow and expand the economic base of the township. However, downtown Pierpont, the social and market center of the township is at risk with loss of local businesses, aging housing and commercial buildings, and inadequate infrastructure to grow existing businesses and draw new residents, business and services.
A Pierpont Revitalization Committee was charged by the Township Trustees in April, 2018 to help the township plan for the future (click here to view the Pierpont Revitalization Development Plan) . A 2018 survey (click here to download the survey findings ; and view Sept 2018 presentation) of Pierpont Township residents revealed over 80% of residents value Pierpont as a small town and the sense of community they have from living here. More than two-thirds of the residents consider it a problem that Pierpont lacks destination services downtown, lacks access to reliable internet service, and lacks a sewer system downtown to draw new business and grow existing businesses. Overall residents would like a strong social-economic center with more shopping opportunities and a more attractive downtown. Further, they believe that residential housing would grow if there were more retail business.
VISION FOR PIERPONT
Pierpont is an attractive, vibrant small rural community of industrious people surrounded by rivers, agricultural and forested landscapes with a strong social and economic center.
COMMUNITY SURVEY.The results of the Pierpont Community Survey conducted in June, 2018 were shared with the community on September 4th at the Pierpont Volunteer Fire Department red building at 7:30pm, following the regular Pierpont Township Trustee Meeting at 6:30pm. The survey had an excellent response rate of 30% with over 200 Pierpont residents and landowners answering questions. The Pierpont Revitalization Committee has analyzed the survey and will be presenting a vision for Pierpont based on survey findings. Residents overwhelmingly valued the small town rural atmosphere of Pierpont and its strong sense of community. The volunteer fire department, US Post Office, Pymatuning Valley Schools, and local churches were given high importance ratings. Respondents also placed high value on living close to the natural environment, the West and East Branches of the Ashtabula rivers, Pierpont’s agricultural and forested landscape, nearness to Lake Erie and Pymatuning Lake and closeness to family and friends. A number of people wrote comments in the survey margins that Pierpont was a great place to live, to raise a family, and to retire in. Some respondents were new to Pierpont in the last ten years, others have lived in Pierpont 20 to 30 years, and others indicated they were life-long residents with grandparents that settled Pierpont. Respondents’ vision for Pierpont is an attractive community with a strong social-economic center. Ninety-percent wanted more local shopping opportunities and 76% thought that lack of destination services in downtown Pierpont was a problem. More than half of respondents claimed they would definitely or likely use a convenience food store, a full service grocery, a diner or restaurant, banking services, a hardware store, a beer-wine-spirits store, a bakery and a general merchandise store. Respondents expressed high levels of concern for the inadequacy of Pierpont’s infrastructure including lack of access to reliable high-speed internet service and lack of a sewer system downtown to draw new businesses and expand existing businesses. The high cost of repair and replacement of sewer systems, aging housing stocks and the number of poor quality buildings throughout the township were also considered problems. There is widespread agreement that Pierpont is a great place to live and there is a shared desire to keep the community strong and vibrant. This means there is a need to renew and strengthen Pierpont’s legacy of economic vibrancy by rebuilding the social-economic center. Pierpont residents are encouraged to attend the meeting to support the search for solutions and the revitalization of Pierpont.