Letter to the Editor: Planters on Main Street

Spending $40,000 on aesthetics versus fixing a problem should be an easy decision to make. Aesthetics will not improve anything except maybe what is appealing to someone’s eyes.  To my eyes Main Street looks just fine. I am proud to show off Main Street to visitors just the way it is. I wonder who the people are who have suggested to Commissioner (Eric) Pierson that something needs to be done to improve the overall look of Main Street. Do they have some expertise or experience in designing a downtown area or are they just somebody with an idea of how to waste taxpayers’ money? Just how many comments have been received and have those commenters offered funding? Why do we need to break up the line-of-sight? I like a view of the whole downtown area.
The last time we put planters on Main Street we were told that no parking spaces would be lost, but nobody mentioned the problem caused when extended cab pickups or long SUV’s park in the shortened parking spaces where the planters were placed. Now these types of vehicles stick out into the travel lane and make passing hazardous. They also block the view of drivers backing out of the next parking space up the street. I do not understand how we could put planters in the middle of the street and not shorten the adjacent parking spaces.
It was said that the trees would be slightly mature trees. What happens when these slightly mature trees grow and mature?  What will keep tree sap/droppings or limbs from falling and damaging cars?
Mr. Mills pointed out at the Board Meeting that people are going to hit any planters that are put in the middle of the street. That is not a maybe event, it is a guaranteed event. That means more money down the drain. Funding for repairs to cracked granite or concrete would necessitate an ongoing budget item.
If the town budget has $40,000 available to spend, wouldn’t it be better to spend that money on a remedy to the bear problem or funding infrastructure repairs or preventive maintenance.
I agree with the comment of Commissioner (Donnie) Calloway, “Planting these trees is a mistake.”  Mr. Mills called it ludicrous. I agree with that too.

– Morris Williams, Highlands, N.C.

Leave a Reply