Letters to the editor – Sunday (1-25-09)

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 23, 2009

Uptown school office site would be money pit
Michael Young’s Jan. 10 letter attacking commissioners should be directed at Raymond Coltrain, not former Commissioners Arnold Chamberlain and Jim Sides. It’s Coltrain who wants to take two years to design, grade and build a new school facility from scratch. You have to understand Young’s objectives in pushing the Main Street location: He and his wife redevelop surrounding uptown properties for profit using an array of taxpayer-supported grants.
For various reasons (i.e., old dilapidated buildings, maze of hallways, inferior fire protection, mold and mildewing conditions, asbestos abatement, inadequate space), Chamberlain, commissioners and school board officials (except Bryce Beard) saw no advantage in the “sweetheart deal” Young references. There is nothing green or energy efficient about these old structures.
Where will employees and visitors park? Uptown lofts are absorbing parking. Some employees would face five-six block walks to their cubicles. Visitors would just give up. Auto emissions would definitely increase in the city, with 200 new employees and daily commutes to K&W and Olive Garden for lunch. The handful of uptown eateries could not support the numbers: Imagine the line at Haps!
I agree with Young in that adaptive reuse of property is a good idea. However, these properties would require major renovation (at taxpayer expense) and in the short term would become inadequate for the needs of a growing school system.
In suggesting the site at the bus garage, Coltrain and Carl Ford made a rookie mistake: Salisbury would surely eye that property of urban sprawl for future annexation. By the same token, the proposed former Winn-Dixie property is a good deal for taxpayers, city and county governments, school employees and Salisbury merchants. Yes, the “sweetheart deal” needs to be such for the taxpayers, not the individuals pushing this money pit.
ó Sharen Burrell
Leave Julian Road as is
Regarding the proposal to extend Martin Luther King Avenue to include a section of Julian Road:How many roads need to be named to honor one person?
If we want to change names, how about a sign in electric lights that we can change whenever we feel the need to honor whomever at the time? But let that road be West Innes Street or Jake Alexander Boulevard. We who live and work on Julian Road like it just the way it is. If we wanted it changed, we would have requested it back when it was named to honor the Julians. No offense to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but enough is enough. Leave us alone out in what is left of our little community.
Thank you and remember that if we live our lives and treat our fellow citizens the way Dr. King asked us to, it will be the biggest tribute of all.
ó Kirby Ritchie