M’boro administrator outlines CCI grant plans

Published 5:30 pm Saturday, March 7, 2009

MURFREESBORO – Murfreesboro Town Administrator Cathy Davison Friday morning reviewed planned use of a $70,000 grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.

The grant, Davison said, will be used to market “the greater Murfreesboro area over the next two years based on the Marketing Blueprint provided to the town through the Creative Communities Initiative program.”

Items in the grant, she said, are aimed at creating economic development opportunities by marketing the town.

“We have moved forward,” Davison said, “with hiring Sherry Sullens, who is the part-time chamber of commerce executive director, to (1.) keep the chamber open full time, (2.) market the Town of Murfreesboro, and (3.) Market the Town’s businesses, attractions and opportunities.”

Also, Davison said she is working with Dr. Andrea Eason at Chowan University to establish an intern program under which a student would assist the executive director in the office and marketing projects.

Davison is looking at several options for upgrading the town’s web site.

One of those, she said, is for an organization called Govoffice.com to create an interactive web site at a fee of $1,869-$4,000, depending “on the information we would like to put on the site.”

She said Govoffice.com also provides an eCommerce option that would enable payment of utility bills through the site, purchasing municipal logo items through the site, and recreation programs.

Davison said she also has talked with Tom Whiteman at Chowan University, who could provide a basic web site for $1,000, and has contacted Grand Illusions, the designer of the current site, to get a price for an updated, interactive site.

She outlined a page-by-page plan for a marketing guide that would be used for visitors to the area as well as for new residents and for economic development.

Davison has confirmed that the Town of Murfreesboro can sell promotional items to help support projects. Among those items, she said, could be t-shirts, polos, sweatshirts, hats, visors, cups, coffee cups, Frisbees, note cards and notepads with a pen. Such items, she said, could be sold at the town hall, on the town’s web site, at the chamber of commerce office, at local businesses and at Chowan University.

And finally, Davison said Time Warner Cable offers its cable production services to towns in its service area to create promotional DVDs. The cost of such a DVD project, she said, would be $10,000.

Alternatively, she said the town might want to look at working with the new high school production class to see if it might want to pursue the Murfreesboro DVD as a class project.