Reader addresses Downtown Plan
I have been thinking about the information presented at the Town Hall meeting July 17 regarding the Downtown plan. I appreciate the time City Council has spent on this, but must admit I was a little disappointed and a bit insulted at the presentation.
I was expecting to see some artist renditions of Main Street improvements, plat drawings of the proposed parking areas, something that accurately reflected the plan, but instead had to sit through a two-hour slide presentation that was clearly recycled from another project. The planner presented pictures of European cities with sidewalk cafes, outdoor gardens and cobblestone streets as an example of what they expect Mountain Home to look like.
Admittedly the landscaping was beautiful, but when questioned about the water availability, the planner suggested rain barrels be used. REALLY?? Rain barrels? Has the architect even been to Mountain Home?
And if you're talking about bringing in the public and making this a family destination, then don't show a picture of the royal family. Think they'll leave Balmoral to come here for vacation? The discussion should be what can be done to keep the young people here and wanting to return home to settle with their own young families. We need activities: miniature golf, roller skating, paint ball, mystery rooms, something for them to do. Bring back some of the shops that were replaced when the big "W" moved in. Fabric shop, scrapbook and craft store, and for heaven sakes, help bring back the movie theater.
Mountain Home has three Subways, three Chinese restaurants, two McDonalds, Wendy's, Arby's, Burger King, Jack in the Box, numerous pizza places and sit down eating establishments. Do you really think we need to fill up downtown with more restaurants?
We are not a walking/strolling kind of town. We are not Sun Valley, Aspen, or Park City. Trying to maneuver around sidewalk cafes with walkers, canes, and kids digging up the flower pots is not my idea of a relaxing stroll through downtown.
Outside dining is not a practical solution. Winters are cold, the weather right now is very typical of a Mountain Home summer. Do you want to sit outside on a hot plastic or metal chair with the wind blowing napkins down the street? Give me a clean environment, good service and air conditioning anytime.
Agreed, downtown needs some revitalization, but do it with practicality in mind. Use the money to spruce up buildings, hire someone that can give suggestions on interior design for business owners to put into practice. Use a little more thought than accepting at face value the ideas of some company back east that has no idea of what Mountain Home is like or truly needs.