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Retaining the Main Street Bridge ??

From: Tom Kirk
Date: 8/18/99
Time: 7:28:32 AM
Remote Name:


Mayor Dennis Andrews and Members of City Council President Marjorie Sharp and Members of County Council County Commissioners John O. Catey, Marcia T. French, and Max Smith

Dear Public Officials:

For a couple of weeks in mid-summer we saw many letters to the editor in the Palladium-Item about why we should and should not keep the old Main Street Bridge. This highly emotional issue seems to have strong proponents on both sides. How do you plan to address the issue? I would like to offer some advice.

You should delay tearing down the old bridge for one year after the new bridge is open. During that time the old bridge should remain closed but not torn down. During that year the City and County should explore renovating the old bridge and determine the costs of both renovation and maintenance. At the end of the year with this information on costs and the year's experience should be laid before the public with the following question: Are you willing to have your taxes raised by $x to pay for the renovation of the bridge.

By taking these steps you as our elected officials will have provided the information we need and we the citizens of the county can decide whether it is worth it based on our year's experience with the new bridge.

Thus far the arguments for and against tearing down the old bridge have been made in a vacuum. We have no experience with the new bridge and thus can't say what the impact of new traffic patterns might be. This argues that a decision to tear down the old bridge wait until we have some experience with the new bridge and new traffic patterns.

On the other hand arguments are being made that we should renovate the old bridge without any sense of what it will cost and how it might be paid for. Again we need more information and a decision should be delayed until we have more information.

Let's have an open exploration of the issue with all the information before the public before a decision is made.

If others would like to contribute to this discussion write a letter to the Palladium-Item. You can also participate in an electronic discussion at WayNet's "Talk of the Town" at http://waynet.wayne.in.us/talk_toc.htm?111. You can also find "Talk of the Town" on WayNet's home page http://waynet.wayne.in.us. .

Sincerely yours

Thomas Kirk

Revised: January 20, 2006