Wauseon, like so many small towns and cities across the coun­try, is strug­gling to find it’s iden­tity among urban sprawl and big box retail­ers set­ting up shop just out­side the down­town area.

A recent attempt by Wauseon to secure up to $300,000 in state grant fund­ing to revive the down­town area was unsuc­cess­ful.

The money, if it had been granted, would have pro­vided match­ing funds to help down­town build­ing own­ers under­take improve­ments, from fresh coats of paint and code com­pli­ance, to energy effi­ciency and win­dow repair.

A sur­vey done in 2011 to deter­mine what peo­ple wanted to see down­town, showed enter­tain­ment top­ping the list.

Many small towns and cities with thriv­ing down­town areas have done so suc­cess­fully by fea­tur­ing busi­nesses with a uniquely local feel, some­thing larger retail­ers just can’t pro­vide. Wauseon lead­ers say they would like to cap­i­tal­ize on that as well.

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