04/15/06 — Modifications: Evaluate city amenities’ cost in relation to the big picture

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Modifications: Evaluate city amenities’ cost in relation to the big picture

Another week and another $12 million project has been proposed for the city of Goldsboro.

But this time, someone is thinking a little more clearly, and setting the goals a little more realistically, rather than suggesting the project be scrapped altogether.

The bill for the proposed city recreation center is estimated at about $12 million, which Goldsboro Mayor Al King and other members of the center committee say is just too much.

This price tag revelation is on the heels of a recent squabble over a similar bill — that one for the proposed reconstruction of the Paramount Arts Center.

So, since some big numbers have come up again, it is time to think a bit about priorities, budget and where to go next as the city of Goldsboro decides where to spend taxpayers’ money and how best to position the city for future growth.

The recreation center and the Paramount reconstruction are both worthwhile projects for this city. Both could bring more people downtown, and both could be the impetus for more solid growth for the community as it heads into the future.

So, sitting down and creating a plan that looks not only at the individual projects, but also at the big picture of what we need to make Goldsboro a community that better serves the needs of its residents, would be a very important first step. And if in the process we think of additions that would make the city more attractive to potential residential and business investment, well, even better.

A $12 million recreation center might not be realistic for this community, just as a $12 million theater downtown might be a little out of reach, too. But that doesn’t mean that the arts community and those who want to add some recreation opportunities for families in this town cannot put their heads together to come up with a solution that offers modified versions of both projects that would satisfy both needs. Maybe a smaller recreation center, and a more budget-conscious plan for a rebuilt theater, along with continued efforts to bring a new park at Stoney Creek, would give this community three more reasons to say it is family friendly and welcoming new investment.

So now, once again, we have the evidence we need to suggest that a combined effort and lots of smart people pulling together for the purpose of planning for Goldsboro’s future might be the best way to make sure it will be a bright one for everyone involved — and that long-hoped-for projects move from blueprints to reality.

Published in Editorials on April 15, 2006 11:39 PM