Don’t make same mistake twice
I am deeply concerned that our elected city board of directors is about to vote in favor of leasing the old post office in downtown Siloam Springs, with plans to eventually sell the building. A contract has been negotiated to lease the building to a bicycle store
“Phat Tire” which has other locations in
For one, this building was acquired from the federal government in 2001, as a donation to the city, with the only requirement being that the city preserve the beautiful murals which depicts scenic life in the U.S. The original thought was to use it for a museum, which certainly lends itself with the murals and the history of the building (it was built in the ‘40s). Even though the museum has decided against the possibility of moving the museum now, it makes no sense to “lock up” the use of the building for any other city department, or for the potential of the museum using it down the road, whether for bringing in traveling exhibits or other uses.
I am also surprised that our city would get behind bringing in a business that competes with other locally-owned businesses, just because a group of cyclists enjoy shopping at Phat Tire. If this is the case, let them shop at their other locations! A store owned by non-locals is not going to keep the profits here. Those who have not lived in or around Siloam Springs before 2001 are not aware of the importance of the old post office to the activity of the citizens.
This building was the heartbeat of the downtown, and in fact, of the entire city. The city board made a huge mistake in selling the building in 2005. The situation that came after that sale was a disaster. Fortunately, we got it back when I was mayor in 2011. We do not need this building to be out of the hands of the citizens of Siloam Springs. The city recently had a 3/8-cent sales tax passed to be spent for “quality of life.” Isn’t the preservation of the city’s history more important than building a splash pad in the park? I encourage you to contact any of the city board members (info is on the website at www. siloamsprings.com) and attend the June 6 city board meeting, held at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, and voice your concerns at the podium.
Why aren’t we asking questions
It was reported in The Herald-Leader on May 10 that the city was to host a “Public Input and Feedback Program” on May 11 regarding the planning and construction of the land around the new Siloam Springs library site. The purpose of the public input was to allow residents to influence and be informed on how our tax dollars are to be spent on improvements to the land area around the library.
City communications manager Holland Hayden said that the meeting would not be a question and answer session by concerned citizens in order for the citizens to gain a clearer vision of what was proposed for the land area around the new library.
My main concern about the construction in this area would be the safety and the physical integrity of Twin Springs, which is one of only two historical landmarks still intact in Siloam Springs.
My question is — How can the public be informed by the city of the concerns of the citizens about the future of the new plans for the Twin Springs Park without asking questions of those in charge?
In closing, if we destroy our past, then we have no future!