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With Christmas approaching, we all have a wish list that we would like to see under the tree come Dec. 25. I worked up mine a little earlier this month to help those who plan to shop for me this year.
It was shortly after that I realized I also have a wish list for Carrollton and Carroll County. And what better time to share it than as we close the books on 2010.
Many of my wishes are linked to things that I’ve written about in my column over the past several months. Others are items that have been on my list, but haven’t made it into print yet.
I better get to it. Here’s my list:
Make a good first impression. When you exit from Interstate 71 from the north, visitors are greeted by what looks like a dump. There are rusted, abandoned vehicles, storage for a mobile home and construction materials, tires and an assortment of what I would refer to as junk. Plus there are giant billboards right in your face.
We need to put our best foot forward for visitors, especially with NASCAR Sprint Cup racing coming to Sparta next year. Most progressive communities that want to greet visitors have an attractive area meeting them as they come down the ramp. A few flowers and plants would be a pleasant way to say, “Welcome to Carroll County.”
Control development. Carroll County needs to get serious and adopt zoning. It can even affect those of us who live in areas that have zoning, such as the city of Carrollton. For example, take the liquid asphalt plant located on the banks of the Kentucky River. Many days Carrollton residents are greeted with a strong oily odor when they walk out their doors.
Plus we all have to drive through the area developed near the interstate on state Hwy. 227. A little zoning could address the number of signs and the sprawl that has created a traffic nightmare. Zoning is our friend. The sooner we recognize this, the better off we will all be.
Build the riverwalk. Last week’s paper showed more progress on purchasing property for the riverwalk. City leaders have been doing some good work on this front. Let’s finish up making those agreements and get into the construction phase. We have a million dollar view, so let’s put it on display for all of us to enjoy.
Fund the JCTC campus already. Jefferson Community and Technical College is bursting at the seams. State lawmakers have played games with this project for years. Each time, it’s the House, the Senate or the governor blocking the funds to make this project happen. As much as I hate to see the campus leave downtown, we need it so JCTC can continue to expand and to serve more young people who want to improve themselves. The property for the facility now is sitting there waiting; let’s make a new home for the college a reality.
Save Camp Kysoc. We’ve got a gem unlike anything else in Kentucky sitting right here in Carroll County. It’s Camp Kysoc. Just shy of its 50th anniversary, Cardinal Hills Healthcare opted to shut it down. It needs to reopen in 2011. A group of local residents is working hard to find a way tto bring life back to the camp. Let’s all do everything we can to support their efforts and make this happen. It would be a disgrace to let this wonderful facility become state surplus property that could be sold.
Add a light. There needs to be a traffic light at the intersection of Schuerman Street and Park Avenue. This project was funded under a program to create safe routes to schools. The decision rests with state officials who have been looking at traffic data — local leaders want the light. This won’t be safe for kids, and motorists too, until a light is placed here.
Improve our cell service. Folks who use Verizon Wireless have it better than those on the AT&T network. However, none of us in this area have the cellular service we would like. Both companies need to add more towers and improve the signal quality we have. The area may be rural, but we support a lot of business and bring in more than a million visitors a year to General Butler State Resort Park. The numbers are there to support the improvements.
Care for your pets. I see too many dogs tied to short chains and others caged in small kennels that give them no room to move. Why do you have a dog if you are not going to pay any attention to it? Every day when I walk my dog, I’m barked at in several places by some of these lonely animals. They bark in hopes of getting a little attention and some love. I hope people will learn to be kind to their animals in 2011.
I hope many of these items are on your lists too. Gifts such as these will put smiles on all of our faces.
If you have a list like this, please pass it along. We would all like to hear your ideas on ways to improve our community.