Letter: Investing heavily in downtown not a wise move

To the editor:

Beware! The leaders of our burgh have prevailed upon one probable flim-flam man by the name of Roger Brooks (The Shawano Leader, Aug. 10) to tell us how to transform the longtime failing (since the arrival of Walmart) Main Street shopping center into a competitive equal with gigantic Walmart. Fat chance of that, folks!

Brooks paints an impossible dream of how to waste thousands, maybe millions, of dollars into basically beating a longtime dead horse back to life. The first reason it can’t happen is because of Walmart’s vast area size, including parking, and the ability to do all of your shopping under one rain-free roof.

The days when folks all were able to walk to the downtown area to shop are but a memory. Just giving it a new paint job and setting up some tables for munching and chatting outside won’t lure shoppers away from the lowest prices because of the massive quantities it buys. Small shops haven’t the room to store large qualities, let alone pay for them. Wishing for a miracle in one small downtown hasn’t a chance against the Walmart corporate power that covers 50 states.

Now comes the appropriate “bottom line.” The cost of the “paint job” is ultimately borne by all of us taxpayers somehow, whether the project sails or fails. There is no way of accurately pre-measuring a project that Brooks wants us to get into. Cost overruns are always automatic.

I will suggest a far better idea for us citizens to seek, and which would be visible success to all — direct the wasted effort moneys that one person is suggesting (Brooks) into thoroughly fixing all of our city streets. The latest attempt at street repair, such as it was, wasn’t worth a pinch of snuff. If street maintenance had at least leveled the railroad tracks by the old railroad station on Green Bay Street, we wouldn’t have to endure having our teeth rattled every time we cross those tracks. That spot is a monument to stupidity on the part of our city government past or present.

Spend wisely, Shawano.

Brian K. Semrau,