CRESTLINE — Carolyn Helbert said what others echoed Wednesday night: “The Crestline comeback is real.”
Helbert and a half-dozen other school and community leaders spoke for an hour at Celebrate Crestline Night in the high school auditorium.
“There is a legacy to protect here and a future that must be prepared for,” said Crestline School District Superintendent Matthew Henderson. “That represents the collective efforts of the community.”
Henderson cited the “increasing participation outside the classroom — on the athletic field, on this stage and in the creative arts — while improving what’s happening inside the classroom on a daily basis.”
The Crestline Community Development Team has been active in transforming the village, from downtown development to repairs at its parks.
“We are breaking ground in the fall on a new sewer treatment plant,” said village administrator Corey Spackey.
It will be a two-year process, according to Mayor Linda Horning Pitt.
A $350,000 grant has allowed the village to make needed repairs to the swimming pool.
The old American Legion building became Mi Cerrito and opened in the spring of 2020. Construction began on a new Dollar General Marketplace which is set to open next week.
“We have worked hard to make Crestline better than it was a couple of years ago,” said CCDT leader Clayton Herold who presided over the event.
Leaders also are excited about Amtrak coming to town. The village has been selected to be a stop on the proposed Amtrak passenger rail line that would connect Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati.
Horning Pitt said local business leaders have expressed a desire to see the return of passenger rail service in the village for several years.
Executive Director of the Galion-Crestline Area Chamber of Commerce Miranda Jones said the community has navigated the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I think we adapted well. The Chamber has increased its visibility in Crestline and the last two years has been a labor of love for me,” Jones said.
The Chamber has two new members from the village for a total of 47.
“Being able to walk down the street, people pop out and say hi to me. Being able to stop in and feeling welcome here means a lot,” she said.
About 20 businesses received almost $100,000 in CARES Act money, Jones said.
“This was huge. It kept those doors open. It was that sense of security that those businesses needed.”
A Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) was established within downtown Crestline.
Youth Sports, parks
Herold spoke about the upgrades in the Crestline Youth Sports programs.
“We reorganized the board. We have put in dirt infields, made repairs to the concession stand and sheds and are getting the lights back on at the Little League field,” he said.
Baseball and softball home games can now be played and he thanked those sponsors and volunteers for their efforts.
Helbert and Erin Jones, representing the Crestline Community Development Team, said since 2019 about $40,000 has been reinvested back into the community.
Kelly Park had a new wooden playscape installed along with a new sand volleyball court.
“It looks so good,” Jones said.
Future plans for the village include a kids movie night, pool parties and veterans banners.
The group needs funding to continue and will accept tax-deductible donations.
In 2020, a similar event was held called Crestline Community Engagement Night with the unveiling of a video titled The Crestline Comeback.
In two years the comeback has become a cause.
“Once you get a whole bunch of people working together, great things can happen, right?” Horning Pitt said. “We’re all together in this as a team. Crestline can thrive and grow … and it’s great for the county.”
Speakers fielded questions and listened to suggestions from the audience after the presentations.