Get the fountain flowing, fix Main Street, fund the parks

Published 6:22 pm Thursday, July 25, 2019


Contributing columnist

The current fountain in Weisiger Park is sad, disappointing and lacking in visual appeal. By fountain, I am talking specifically about the water spout that struggles to see the light of day before its ephemeral stream evaporates into the summer humidity. I’m glad the city is finally talking about doing something. The limpid stream hijacks my brain every time I see it.

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When the current version of Weisiger Park was but a dream, the city asked for input from anyone who wanted to give an opinion. It isn’t shocking that few responded. Those who did respond were in favor of keeping a fountain in the park. The previous fountain had issues due to the tree roots that grew under the park. It wasn’t used very often, which may be why some don’t remember having a fountain.

A group of citizens has gotten together to raise some funds to replace the current new fountain basin with a bronze fountain that is for sale at the antique dealer just north of Brannon Crossing. It’s taller and has swans from which water would flow. I think it’s nice that this group is being proactive but I’m not sure a tall bronze fountain with spouting swans fits the minimal aesthetic of the park.

I like the actual basin of the fountain. It’s simple. If the water came out with more force and volume, it might actually be in proportion to the structure.

The good news is City Attorney Stephen Dexter feels that the contractors who were paid to provide a magnificent fountain (my description, not his) should be held responsible for troubleshooting the issue. So before everyone gets up in arms over paying more money for something we thought we were getting, relax. Let the process work itself out and stop screaming about another $30,000 that should be spent on roads and sidewalks.

Main Street

Speaking of screaming about roads, the state is getting ready to reconfigure Main Street and the usual suspects are up in arms. Change does not come easy to our little village and changing Main Street creates levels of apoplexy rarely seen beyond the doors of the ICU. The state is literally talking about changing three blocks of pavement. Three blocks, not three miles.

Our Main Street is dangerous. If a driver wants to make a left turn, she must watch for two on-coming lanes of traffic and also watch for pedestrians. Trying to make a left onto Fourth Street or Second Street is taking your life into peril since the turning driver can only see one lane of on-coming traffic. And we all know the danger of turning or walking through the Third Street intersection.

The traffic engineers — who have graduated from engineering school (university-level schooling) — hypothesize that shrinking Main Street down from four lanes to three will slow traffic, make turning easier, and give pedestrians a higher-than-50% chance of making it to the opposite side of the street without being hit by an impatient driver. Those are pretty good odds for crossing Main Street.

The good news is that the state is going to let us try the change before making a permanent decision. Many other towns with thriving Main Street businesses have the capacity to safely turn left and allow pedestrian traffic while utilizing three lanes. I think Danville can do this; I really do. Ironically, our Main Street is three lanes from Second Street to Wilderness Road.

Parks and Recreation

The city and county are at a standstill regarding the proposed ordinance of sharing fiscal responsibility of our parks. It is stunning to me that these two groups cannot come up with an agreement that is in the best interest of all the citizens they represent. I know I’m repeating myself, but ALL of the parks are in the county. ALL. OF. THEM. The county needs to put up some funding, even if it’s minimal, to support ALL OF THE PARKS, not just Millennium.

Imagine the state highway department refusing to resurface Ky. 52 because it goes through Boyle County. “Nope. We are not going to fund that. It’s in Boyle County and my people don’t live there, so no. We refuse to maintain that road.”

It’s time for the magistrates to put on their Big Boy Pants and do what’s right for ALL of the citizens of Boyle County. I pay county taxes. I want some of my county taxes put toward funding ALL OF THE PARKS in the county.

G. Elaine Wilson-Reddy, JD, is a professional educator, consultant and advocate. She lives in Danville.