Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

September 20, 2012

People Talk, Who’s Listening, and What Can We Do?

Carol Clarke Reed

Knoxville —  

To the Editor:

This letter is in regards to your article titled Rec Center expansion discussed. According to this piece our “City has approximately $400,000 in unallocated funds to use.”  Four Knoxville City Council members were quoted on how they want or don’t want to spend this money.  How about the rest of our citizens, where do you think this money could be best spent?  When I say “our citizens,” I mean people that live within our city limits, in our rural areas, and people working / shopping in Knoxville; after all could we still be a town without everyone’s support?

Nothing was mentioned about our closed theater. Did we find someone to take over this large project?  In order to transfer the old system to digital is roughly an $80,000 investment, plus the cost of the building, the updates, and the cost of the movies and snacks maybe a good $200,000 give or take a few hundred. I do have to say, who wants to move to a town without a movie theater?  Ok, maybe a small number of people that aren’t interested in the arts. 

I have heard people say, “Why can’t we have a splash pad and have FREE admission?  It doesn’t have to be some elaborate park, other places don’t charge, and why do they feel they need to put a fence around something if no pool is included?” 

I feel these are all great questions and should be answered.  Food for thought on the question about the fence around the splash pad and if safety is the factor; we don’t have one around the skate park.  This would add to an unnecessary expense because parents could supervise their young children while having a bonding experience.  

Moving right along, I heard a guy say, “If someone donated land he would dig a hole for an outdoor swimming pool.  Someone else answered back, “People want things for free.”  Ouch.  The first guy was going to donate his time and his equipment.  This reminds me of the old saying, “Time is money.”  He was reaching out for others to meet him halfway.   Anyone want to help him out on this project?

About a year ago a woman told me she would love for us to have a Putt Putt Golf Center.  She drives to Newton with her son.  I wonder how many more people drive to other towns for entertainment, have a wonderful time but feel robbed afterwards on the amount it cost them in gas, food, and entertainment. 

One more thing before everyone reading this goes back to what they were doing.

In the past ten years that I have moved back to my home town, I have heard things like; “Why doesn’t our town get restaurants like, Wendy’s, Long John Silvers, or clothing and shoe stores?”   Now that I think about this question, I’ve heard the same rumor back in high school on why. I believe this could and should be answered by our City Officials.

The people in and around town want answers, they have ideas, and we have seen what our citizens can do when we help each other. I wrote this to help get these ideas and questions out because this is what people are talking about, want to know who’s listening, and want to know what can be done. Is there something like a “free auto site” where people can share their opinions and concerns even if they live outside the city limits?

I could be wrong, but sounds like our community wants to have an input before City Council makes a decision on spending money. We all want the best for our town and want to see it grow. One way is to stop the rumors on why we can’t and communicate how we can.  Thank you for your time. 

Carol Clarke Reed