With regard to front page of the Daily Iowegian, dated 03/28/13, captioned "Coming soon to a levee near you?" my first comment and thought is "hogwash."
Does anyone think that the State of Iowa is ignorant enough to allow trees planted right along their highway nor putting stamped brick walkways across the State Highway 5, where the traffic now has increased intensely since the construction of the new Walmart, closing Highway 5 for installation of crosswalks is absolutely ludicrous.
Trees lose their leaves and cause impossibility to keep front of businesses clean and to avoid tracking in, as is very evident by viewing the trees in front of store fronts on square. They also attract birds allowing for residue to be on buildings front show case windows and sidewalks and that alone is a very negative and businesses do not need nor want that additional problem, yes, I say problem. The drawing shows trees planted where concrete now exists and many if not all businesses will refuse to have the concrete in front of their businesses torn up just to plant trees, not to speak of water lines that may be ruptured, or tree roots in sewers.
Money for doing these projects will be just a waste of money, as it has been on the square. None of this has served any purpose or progress for the square, although it was touted to bring economic growth. Ash trays for flower pots, trees, brick stamped crosswalks, lights for uniformity (one sections always out and others are going out one bulb at a time), many store buildings are empty, others for sale and/or rent, going out of business sales. The square appears to be crumbling and doesn't even know it yet.
When people come to the levee, they come for one (1) particular purpose and that is to utilize the businesses that have been long standing and still exist such as body shop, cabinet shop, carpet store, furniture store, produce store, fuel stations and semi parking, laundromat, and scales, to mention a few.
The drawing uses words such as "define the district," "unifying the buildings," "positive sense of place," "false fronts," "trees," "lamp posts," "awnings," "storefront restoration" and" unified lighting," in order to make the levee an asset ........... not even mentioning the one building that definitely needs demolishing.
The levee is already an asset to the community, and one of longevity and has existed longer than any other part of town. The buildings do not need to be drawn together, they have a uniqueness that does not exist anywhere else. These proposed plans will not bring new businesses into town .......
Give us all a break some should start using what God has put between their ear, and realize that the only thing that will enhance this community is jobs! Not 15 part-time, at a time, but rather fulltime, good paying with benefits jobs, and until those who are paid to do this cannot, they are useless. With approximately 1,000 job loss in the past few years and another company now on layoff again, we need jobs! Making things supposedly pretty and unified is nothing more than obfuscating the obvious.