By Dave Fidlin

Amid a recent broad-brushed, big-picture discussion of Whitewater’s business climate, one issue dominated the conversation: housing. It gave officials food for thought, heading into the new year.

Several local business owners, as well as representatives from the city’s three financial institutions, pulled up chairs at the Community Development Authority’s December meeting and gave input on the state of economic activity in Whitewater.

“I don’t want to sound like a whiner, but we need some real people who will stay in town,” Steve Johnson, owner of Winchester True Value, said at the Dec. 7 meeting.

While he said his local hardware store — a longtime mainstay in Whitewater — continues to do brisk business, Johnson said he believes the city would have more robust options available if there was more stability in the city’s permanent resident population.
Kevin Paynter, a loan officer with Fort Community Credit Union, offered similar sentiments.

“There’s very little new construction, when it comes to single-family housing,” Paynter said. “That’s the big one to me.”

For more on the sentiments of local officials on the city’s housing situation, pick up a copy of the Jan. 4 Whitewater Register.


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