‘Boring’ infrastructure provides strong foundations

Published 6:15 am Saturday, August 18, 2018

Far too often, communities spend precious time and energy lamenting the things they do not have rather than supporting and celebrating those they do.

This is an easy trap to fall into, and a habit we can all strive harder to break. But perhaps nothing gets more neglected than our community’s infrastructure.

We take for granted the roads on which we drive, the pipe system that brings us our water and disposes of waste from our homes, the grid that provides us electricity and many other services integral to our quality of life.

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Each and every community is different, with varying degrees of stability in these and other areas, but it is important for our leaders — and citizens — to remember the best way of addressing these types of issues is to be proactive and give them focus long before problems arise.

Sewer and water systems usually get some of the attention needed, although citizens often balk at the need to spend millions of dollars on something that, at least to their eyes, works just fine.

The most important thing to understand is, when it comes to infrastructure, we are not building for the present but instead ensuring we have all of the foundational pieces in place for a bright future.

Adding jobs to our community, becoming an attractive destination for new businesses and allowing existing industries to expand cannot happen without infrastructure. The water line upgrade project underway along Perryville Road is one example.

Roads and highways are often forgotten about once they are in place, but traffic patterns and careful analysis of flow is important to every community. The recent conversations about the bypass traffic flow is an important step.

Even things like downtown parking, which has been somewhat of a hot topic here over the years, is an important component. Having easy-to-find public access close to the business district is critical if we want to re-energize the heart of our city.

All of these and a host of other infrastructure components are vital pieces of the puzzle that is economic growth.

Some citizens seem to view conversations like these as boring or a waste of time.

They absolutely are neither.

Roads, parking and infrastructure like water, sewer and electricity may not be flashy or exciting to most, but they are absolutely crucial elements that have to be in place before we can showcase the unique strengths and assets in Danville, Boyle County and central Kentucky.

Talking today leads to action tomorrow. Planning and vision will lead the way to our best possible future.

Michael Caldwell is interim publisher of The Advocate-Messenger and Danville Living magazine. He can be reached at (859) 469-6400 or by email at mike.caldwell@centralkynews.com.