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COLUMN: Tell City plan isn’t practical

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By DON SWANEY
Guest Columnist

A Nov. 5, 2012 News article tells us the mayor and city council have grand plans to improve Tell City. We certainly need improvements. Paying outside experts for advice that our city management should be providing seems wasteful.

We elect these people to run the city, but they can't make decisions without “expert advice.” Seems a little redundant to me.

Let’s analyze the professional recommendations:

• Downtown hotel? Hold up your hand if you think this is a sane idea.

• Visitors center? Too late on this one. The mayor and council pushed it through on a fast tract. Seward’s Folly? Not quite, but close. I haven’t talked to one person who thought it was practical. But the federal grant money was burning a hole in their pocket.

• Condo-apartment complex and senior center? Not a bad idea.

• Downtown grocery store? Noble’s will love this idea. Wal-Mart will run it out of business in 12 months.

• Outdoor seating at downtown restaurants? What were they drinking at that meeting?

• Financial assistance to downtown business owners to upgrade their property? Will you be raising taxes to fund this project? If so, we may have a land rush on Main Street.

• Upgrading parks? Nearly every sidewalk in town needs repair. The mayor told me before she was elected that she would make sidewalk repair a priority. Still waiting.

• More greenways and bike facilities? I especially love this one. It gets lots of laughs at McDonald’s.

• Public golf course? Good idea! Lets build it on the vacant property by the floodwall. The wall will serve as a convenient screen for errant balls.

Seriously folks, if these are the best ideas local management – costly experts included – can muster up, then we deserve to remain a one-horse town.

Here’s an idea that Bernard-Lochmueller and the planning commission missed. Start cleaning up the town by getting all commercial trucks, boats and trailers off the city streets.

Show some pride and backbone by enacting and enforcing an ordinance that makes sense and will go a long way in making the city presentable.

Mrs. Mayor-city council, why not listen to the people that elected you and pay less attention to costly outside experts? Spend some time at the local restaurants. You may hear some ideas that taxpayers actually like.