LETTER: Writer defends Main Street improvements
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 3:47 AM
I'm going to pick on you a little Heather and your Gray Matter comments in the (Nov. 14) Spring Grove Herald titled, "Election is over, now what?"
You asked if the outgoing mayor and council members care about Spring Grove. Come on, REALLY!!
This current council has shown how much they care by getting elected and taking on the largest task in years to rebuild the water mains, storm sewers, waste water sewers, replacing worn out street lights and sidewalks in poor condition on Main Street.
Nobody likes to increase costs but sometimes its necessary, needed and required.
You also state, "The election results were clear, the MAJORITY of the public and business community does not want this Main Street as presented."
Isn't the majority 51 percent? None of the candidates received a majority and what about the community members that did not vote?
You continue on about "...ram-rodding the project...." The Main Street project has been discussed for years. Committees of volunteers were set up and public meetings were had to gather input and inform.
The city council heard everybody's concerns and acted accordingly to what is best for the community, not what's best for the most vocal group or what's easiest.
They listened and made many changes to the original plans by reducing and scaling back costs.
To bring the pool into all of this is, well, tiring. Its built and it's a wonderful attraction for the youth and young families of Spring Grove and surrounding communities.
Other communities are building their own aquatic centers. Apparently, these communities see the real value in having their own swim centers and how it enhances their community.
The Main Street construction project will affect businesses; that's why there's a large marketing campaign by the Spring Grove EDA. Construction affects everybody short-term, but so does the finished product for years to come.
Nobody talks about how a new Main Street makes our sidewalks and stores handicapped accessible.
Nobody talks about it being SAFER to cross Main Street or that parts of Main Street will be WIDENED.
Nobody talks about how every heavy rain threatens to flood the Spring Grove Cinema and Spring Grove Communications due to street flooding because of Main Street's storm sewer issues and the low curb and gutter.
I know some of the proposed changes aren't popular. I suggest accepting the state's $1.5 million contribution for this project. If there are things we just can't live with fix them later knowing it won't cost us $1.5 million.
I don't think these kinds of discussions "divide" a community unless participants are misinformed, nasty or intimidated.
I actually think these kinds of civilized debate make communities stronger. They make people sit up, take notice and get involved in their community.
If you like what's going on get involved to keep it that way. If you want to see changes get involved. Be willing to serve, discuss and debate.
Talk with your city council about the importance of seeing this project through.
Craig Otterness of Chatfield
The opinions expressed in this letter are those of the author and not of Spring Grove Communications or its other entities.