There are good ideas at home

Why is it that our town cannot plan anything without some out-of-town developer, planner, designer, etc.? I guess maybe our leaders don’t feel that there is anyone in the area with any intelligence.

Years ago it was the Main Street development. And that planner got it wrong and now there are no traffic lights at Pennsylvania Avenue and Liberty Street because they didn’t know PennDOT regulations. Then it was a couple developers who decided that we needed high priced condos and now they sit mostly empty because the developer, not only didn’t really care, but failed to realize that people moving to Warren want yards and wide open spaces. They don’t want to live in the middle of a parking lot.

Then there was the first attempt to bring in a convention center hotel in the Loranger building. After wasting lots of money, which was only grant money that doesn’t count, that idea folded. Then another developer wants to put in another hotel when the three hotels in the area are never full.

And we have another developer who wants to put housing for the elderly at Pennsylvania Avenue and Liberty Street. He coated his proposal with all kinds of gingerbread stores and gyms and game rooms. But at the same time the Warren County Housing Authority is advertising that they have open apartments in all of their buildings.

Now the latest and greatest idea is to develop Washington Park and destroy the serene setting. A place where you can go to get away from it all. There is a group of local people, imagine that, local people, who ran with an idea that they knew would work and they created a fantastic bike trail system at Jakes Rocks.

So now the planners think there should be more bike trails. No fresh ideas, copy someone else. It usually boils down to, “follow the money.” Each of these are sucking up grant money.

Oh, we can’t let someone else get the grant money. Let’s give it to some greedy out-of-town developer. A friend of mine and I were talking and if we contact Disney they may put in a zip line from Washington Park to the “waterfront” where the people could then rent a bicycle and peddle up Liberty to Washington Park and do it all over again.

That last line is sarcasm.

I think it is great that the Warren County Chamber of Business & Industry took the bull by the horns and are looking at all aspects of the downtown. Lets continue to do our planning and developing “in house” and keep the money hungry big city developers out of our business.

Lou Dussia is a Warren resident.


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