I would like to add my name to those who are requesting that the New Castle City Commission vote "yes" to keep the city of New Castle in the Main Street Program.
As Dave Stahl wrote in his letter in last week's Local, the money spent on this program is a great investment for the city of New Castle and he is exactly right when he says we have received a good return on our investment. Investment is the key word in the issue, as it is always necessary to invest money in order to receive a return. What would have been the result had New Castle not made the investment to become part of the Main Street Program? What would have been the result had numerous residents not given countless hours of volunteer labor to provide the necessary documentation and to write the grant? What would have been the result had there been a failure of vision to understand the benefits of the Main Street Program? The result would surely have been the eventual loss of the Locker, the building that was saved by the $250,000 grant the city received as a result of the efforts of so many people. The Locker was most certainly close to being a hazard and would have faced either eventual collapse or necessary destruction. To save such an historic building is a triumph of community spirit and the hard work of concerned citizens.
But the hard work must not end. To restore and revitalize buildings takes time and money. If New Castle fails to remain in the Main Street Program it will be a devastating blow to the efforts to secure additional grants and funding to continue the progress we have witnessed in the past few years. Yes, it costs money to be in the Main Street Program. If, however, the city of New Castle fails to continue to invest in the Main Street program it will cost us greatly in the long run. I am asking that the New Castle City Commission vote to keep our great city in the Main Street Program. There has been too much effort and too much success to stop.
I will be in attendance at the meeting January 24 and encourage others to come and support the important and worthwhile Main Street program.
David P. Charlton, New Castle