POINCIANA – Nestor R. Nuesch thinks the residents of Poinciana share his vision to bring a Salvation Army office to the community.
Now he wants to prove it.
“That is the only thing I am concentrating on now,” he said.
Nuesch is conducting a survey of the residents and business owners in Poinciana, and urging them to complete the survey on the need for more social services in the community that now has more than 84,000 residents across 10 villages in two counties – but is lacking badly in any social service programs. For residents of the Osceola County side of Poinciana, the nearest service offices are in Kissimmee. For the Polk County residents, those service offices are even farther away, in Winter Haven.
That’s why Nuesch, a consultant for the Salvation Army, is working to bring the non-profit agency into Poinciana. Nuesch had originally hoped to be able to get the Salvation Army into Poinciana this fall, in the former Federal Credit Union building at 911 Cypress Parkway.
The problem was that as a non-profit, the Salvation Army couldn’t afford to pay rent, and a quick agreement couldn’t be worked out to provide the agency with free or reduced rent.
He now wants to conduct a community study that will look at all of the Osceola and Polk County neighborhoods in Poinciana, and the lack of services here – and the support residents are willing to show about bringing these offices here.
Now he’s urging residents and business owners alike to contact him to fill out the survey.
“I am concentrating on the survey and getting as many of them back as I can,” he said. “At this point, my goal is to have at least 200 surveys back by the end of the year. I have 57 now.”
Nuesch is the president and CEO of Nuesch Management and Development Consultants in Poinciana, and he can be reached at 863-852-9158 or at email@example.com.
“We need people’s opinion,” he said. “It’s very important. I don’t care if they live in Poinciana or not.”
The surveys will be used to help sell the two counties on supporting the need for more service agencies here, Nuesch said. But right now, only one of the counties appears to be fully recognizing that, he added.
“I think Osceola is going to support it because there are so few services now in Poinciana,” he said.
Most of Poinciana’s villages and commercial developments are on the Osceola County side, while the Polk side has a much smaller population, and it’s mainly residential. That’s going to make it harder to bring Polk on board, he added.
“My challenge is working with Polk, because there are mostly just houses there,” he said.
Nuesch is a member of the Poinciana Economic Development Alliance, which is working to bring more jobs and economic development to the community. The chairman, Nick Murdock, said he thinks Poinciana has a lot of assets already, including a large work force, public parks, and a growing business community. With so many residents here, Murdock, the need for social service programs should be obvious.
“It’s amazing to me what a good community Poinciana is, and all the assets we have here, and the business opportunities,” he said. “We just have to put it all together.”
It’s unfortunate, said PEDA member Wendy Farrell, that it can take so long to get projects off the ground – including the new, larger post office that was built a few years ago to replace the small one that drew very long lines around the holidays.
“It’s a bit like the post office – people start to give up hope,” she said. “It shouldn’t take a community this size 10 years to get a post office.”
But it eventually did get built, she added, and if the community rallies around the Salvation Army office, they can make that happen, too.
“We need everyone to be patient,” she said.
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