Another empty building success story

Two weeks ago, I promised to share Johnita’s story about how one town filled some empty buildings.

“I live in a great community in Cloud County and we are fortunate to have a fund in the county from our wind farm that we have been able to help our town and others do some great projects.

“This year we gave a grant of $80,000 to a group in Miltonvale, Kansas, that started a organization they called ‘Merit’ to do economic development in their town. They asked the county for the money to buy 3 old buildings because they had people interested in moving to town to run the businesses. The buildings were in disrepair or just empty.

“The first one that they have remodeled now houses a beauty salon (something they had to travel 18 to 25 miles to have services). The new owner of the shop put in the equipment and her family did the work of the remodeling of the building the group owns the building and she pays the Merit group rent.

“They will have a new day care center in September (a service they don’t have today) because a church closed and the church donated the building to Merit group and they are putting in the renovations and have a person who will run the daycare center and pay rent to Merit.

“The other 2 buildings are in foreclosure and they are waiting for all legalities to finish out but they already have people wanting to occupy these businesses.

“In all this will be about 6 to 10 new jobs in a town of about 500 people. I am the county commissioner for this town so I’m super excited to see this little piece of my district grow and become more self sufficient in what they need in their town.

“As you always promote, there is so much people can do if volunteers come together and people are interested in making their community a better place to live. I love my job as county commissioner because I get to help make some of these things come true.

“Keep doing the great job you do and I’ll keep watching and listening so I can pass it along in my little corner of the world too.”

Johnita Crawford, Cloud County Commissioner. 


Thanks, Johnita! If I ever find myself in the small town of Miltonvale, I’m going to go see their volunteer-built Tootleville Park.


On a completely different subject, let’s talk cash mobs. They provide a quick boost to a local business. If you’re interested in cash mobs, and want to know how to use them to build a long-term benefit, read How to use a Cash Mob in a small town.

If you have your own cash mob story, I’d love to hear about it. Just hit reply and tell me.