Letter to the Editor

We are a small town

Thursday, June 14, 2018

I was born and raised in Mountain Home and doing the same type of business my entire life. Every other Mayor thatís been in office has come to our place of business and asked if everything was going okay for us and asked if there was anything they could do to improve things. Genuinely concerned about us.

The downtown ďimaginaryĒ plan doesnít include most of the current businesses. It is intended to move us out to make room for NEW businesses. We are told we need restaurants, gift shops, coffee shops and the like. The traffic must be slowed down to make it safer for people to walk on the wider sidewalks and create a new atmosphere for Mountain Home where people can linger and have outdoor dining, drink coffee and relax.

We have been a retirement town and farming community ever since I can remember. Airbase personnel changes constantly and they come from all over the world. Iím sure Mountain Home is both, new and just the same as, the places these people come from and a lot of them retire here. We are small town Mountain Home, Idaho. Not Boise, Twin Falls or some other big town. Any small town would be proud to have 90-95% occupancy in their downtown business district. Thereís a reason why people decide to retire here. We have several services available right downtown that are easy to get to with store front parking.

The state highways in town are intended to move traffic to their destination. ie: center lane to go out of town, left and right lanes to stop at businesses and turn on side streets.

It seems irresponsible to cut city department budgets, possibly put services in jeopardy, to turn Mountain Home into something itís not. Taking our own tax money to put us out of business and bring in businesses that may never make it in a small town. Our business along with many others know how to adjust for small town economy. Thatís why weíve been here so long. I feel like Iím being told to just lay down and die or get the hell out because ďwe wonít be around much longer anyway.Ē I personally intend to be here till Iím 90 if my health permits.

If the drainage system downtown needs to be replaced, replace it. Keep the sidewalks the same width as they are and keep the parking for our current citizens. If itís safer to make two lanes, try it. If it doesnít work we can always go back to three lanes again when it proves necessary. Help the businesses by replacing the crumbling sidewalks and offer assistance to repair buildings. It would be a much better investment and a lot less costly.

Making a huge change could have irreversible consequences. There is NO GUARANTEE as to what will actually happen. I just donít want to see my home town disappear.

Marla Kessel

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