Since the City’s Business Development Department was established in January, we have been focused on initiatives to enhance the quality of life for residents, draw visitors to enjoy our community, and build the Morris brand – setting the stage for a strong future.
When the Morris Downtown Development Partnership (MDDP) closed at the end of 2021, its leadership worked with the city to decide how the nonprofit’s remaining funds could be used to benefit our downtown. As a result, several “legacy projects” are underway; two will soon be complete.
The first is a billboard on Route 47 near the Morris Municipal Airport. In the next few weeks, the existing billboard will receive a facelift, featuring colorful images of local events, recreation, shopping and dining, joined by the headline “There’s more to Morris!” This billboard complements new welcome signs in progress at entry points on Route 6 East and West, as well as Route 47 south of 80. These enhancements make a strong first impression about living, working and doing business in Morris.
Remaining MDDP funds will also purchase a replacement sound system for our downtown. The new system will provide more reliable sound through Bluetooth technology and enable remote access to make changes and troubleshoot. This upgrade will improve the experience for shoppers and event goers. Special thanks to the Morris Cruise Night Committee for volunteering to help mount the new speakers.
With downtown activity increasing, public restrooms are now available. Through a partnership with the Morris Area Public Library, anyone visiting downtown can use their bathrooms during operating hours. Access to a restroom was a top request among respondents to the 2020 Downtown Master Plan Survey, and we are pleased to offer this step toward long-term solutions.
Partnership is key to getting the best results for our city. More than a dozen organizations will receive support from the city’s Hotel and Motel Tax Fund, helping drive tourism to our community that will generate more tax dollars for the future. Look for these nonprofits’ use of the new city logo and promotion of downtown and events as they hold their programs and competitions.
There’s never been a better time to rediscover Morris! From the new businesses and expanded services in our downtown, to the incredible line up of special events and concerts planned for Goold Park, the courthouse, and Liberty Street, our community has much to offer both residents and visitors.
Stay up on special events, races, and concerts, rent a bike on the canal, view the downtown map, take a historic walking tour and more at www.morrisil.org/visitmorris.