Insult stirs Forks to pursue downtown revitalization

FORKS – A book titled The Absolutely Worst Places to Live in America, which gave Forks a dishonorable mention, spurred the business and government community to take action.

That coupled with a grant the city officials coveted, prompted a meeting to discuss downtown revitalization.

The meeting, facilitated by the West End Business and Professional Association and the Forks Chamber of Commerce on Jan. 17, drew about 40 professionals and residents.

“It all started with this book about the 50 worst places to live,” said Mayor Nedra Reed.

“Forks didn’t make the list, but it got an honorable mention and the writer called it a ‘festering wound of a town.'”

The book, written by Dave Gilmartin of New York, included Seattle and Aberdeen among the 50 worst places to live in the country.

Another Washington city, Vancouver – which was described as a “methamphetamine junkie haven” – received an honorable mention along with Forks.

Forks’ unappealing image in the book, which was written to be comical, wasn’t the only thing that caused the city to take a second look in the mirror.

A $300,000 Main Street program grant interested city officials, but without an organized effort to revitalize the downtown, the city didn’t qualify to apply for it, Reed said.

“We didn’t qualify this year, but it is still there and we might apply for it in the future,” she said.

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