Support future of Danville for generations to come

November 23, 2003

Dear Editor:

As a concerned citizen of Danville and a member of the downtown business community, I feel compelled to express support for the building of a downtown parking structure.

Remember back to years past when downtown Danville was the center of activity. I can remember shopping at the Hub and the Louisville Store as a child, crossing the street to get a prescription filled at Grider's Pharmacy. Like most small towns across America though, as time passed by, business slowly migrated to the bypass. No longer were there two drugstores on Main Street. Gone are most of the small retail shops. The Hub Frankel, an institution in Danville, closed its department store doors to lie vacant for years.

Granted, downtown still remains bustling with mostly professional offices like banks, attorneys, and the occasional specialty shop. But, I ask, how long can a downtown survive when it no longer remains the center of activity? Even now some of the businesses downtown have offices on the bypass. Why? Because that is where the majority of the people go to shop.


Before us is a unique opportunity to breathe life back into a slowly dying downtown economy. It is my understanding that more than one business has failed to locate downtown due to lack of parking. Eastern Kentucky University has expressed interest in the Hub property, and currently another large tenant is interested in the same. By building a parking structure, we can bring business back downtown to stay.

I do understand that cost is a large factor in this decision, and that some wish to not spend the taxpayers' money in such a manner. However, there are many ways to allocate funds for this project. First and foremost, it will require spending taxpayer dollars. But spending some of those funds now will result in bringing in more tax revenue for the city in the long run. Not only will consumers be purchasing taxable goods downtown, it is reasonable to expect that payroll tax alone from a tenant in the Hub building would more than service the debt for the parking structure. The Heart of Danville's efforts in raising grant funds for the structure are indicative of the great feats a group of like-minded individuals can accomplish.

Danville is the City of Firsts. That is something of which we are all proud. A debt of gratitude is owed to those leaders of Danville who had the vision to make it great. It was the vision of those founding members of the City of Danville that sparked the pride in our town. Vision is the catalyst for excellence. I think you would agree that a town without a vision for its future is a town condemned to stagnation. Stagnation leads to deterioration, ultimately leading to the demise of our beautiful downtown.

I ask of you one thing in this letter. Consider how the decisions you make today will affect us all tomorrow. Think about how the actions you may take today will shape what happens to all of us in the days to come. I want my children and grandchildren to be able to experience the same things you and I did growing up in our perfect little town. Help my dreams and those of many others come true by making the right decision for Danville. Support building a parking structure downtown, and support the future of Danville for generations to come.

Benjamin Guerrant


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