Bethel Business Renaissance
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The Town of Bethel Springs has endured troubling times of late.
In addition to the continuing recovery efforts from the 2013 tornado which battered the small town, residents are dealing with an expensive sewer project which suffers from mountains of unpaid residential bills which has now caused paying customer’s bills to skyrocket.
The reduction of traffic due to the bypass caused many of the businesses to leave Bethel. Rental properties sit vacant due to the high water rates, Main Street in downtown is in disrepair, and overall property values continue to sink.
The combined effects of all of these factors have been strangling the town for years.
Looking at the town in the beginning of 2014, it appeared that hope, like the town itself, was beginning to fade away.
However, anyone who knows the people of Bethel Springs, should know they are not the type of people who will go down without a fight.
Recently, citizens concerned with the state of the town, have come to its defense. Not content to sit back and watch the town they love die, several investors have stepped up and begun fighting for the very survival of Bethel Springs.
In just a short period of time (the last 6-8 months), the town has begun a Business and Cultural Renaissance that has a lot of people talking.
Spurred on by local investors, local government reinvestment in the town’s infrastructure, and the desire of its citizens once again see their town thrive.
The town’s mayor and long-time resident Kay Cox credited Gary Bizzell Sr. and Lew Perrigo with beginning the town’s recent revival.
At the time, the only retail store in operation in the town was the Dollar General on the Highway 45 bypass. The two men opened what were then the town’s only restaurant and convenience stores just months apart.
Cox said that after the two men opened their businesses in the town, others began to take notice.
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