Rossville ramps up revitalization efforts; new Downtown Development Authority starting

Staff photo by Erin O. Smith / The Peerless Woolen Mills sits alongside McFarland Avenue in Rossville.

Rossville, which has about 4,000 residents, suffers from border town syndrome, a place where people pass through to get to other places but don't stop, said Elizabeth Wells, Rossville ReDev Workshop co-founder.

But progress is being made - and more is on the way.

To understand and combat the problem more deeply, the city is launching a Downtown Development Authority to explore new ways to grow the city and engage community members. The development authority will comprise business owners, volunteers, Realtors and organization leaders who, Wells said, are fully vested in the interests of growing the city.

"We know we have a lot of challenges but we're trying our best, utilizing professionals who know how to do this well," she said. "It's an inspiring time we're in right now."

Earlier this month, the city received a $20,000 grant from the American Water Charitable Foundation's Keep Communities Flowing program to begin phase two of construction at John Ross Commons.