Coleman Letter

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Need variety of stores on Square, not wider sidewalk

Paint it red, paint it green, paint it yellow, widen the Sidewalk: HELLO!

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My present observation of the walking traffic on the Square would be tolerant of a two-foot sidewalk. So let’s have an “Elvis Moment” and return the fifteen-foot sidewalk to the sender.

All city and small town squares are fading, of course, due to highway extended shopping. The history of the Batesville Square no longer exists without the old courthouse and railroad depot. The scenic view of squares surviving does appear to be an attraction.

So where are we? Certainly anchor stores do not have an apparent interest in the Square. Well, most especially in today’s economy, the drawing card would be that of price or money saved by shoppers.

I believe that if businesses could offer quality merchandise at a more competitive price, certainly the traffic would pick up, more retailers would establish on the Square. Mind you, I’m not speaking of truck loads of imported “Ya Ya,” I’m speaking of competitive quality.

So let’s play a numbers game — rent and building values on the Square are one-fourth to one-half of those on Hwy. 6 and Hwy. 51. It appears to me that this gap in operational cost or overhead could produce a “Bargain on the Square.”

I believe the existing retailers on the Square do realize this and are practicing this. We just need a larger variety of stores, not a wider sidewalk.

Ronnie H. Coleman