7/10/2013 12:01:00 AM Letter: Need to be 'financially viable'
To the Editor:
I concur with Jim Offield's (Letter to the Editor, Harbor Light Newspaper, July 3, 2013) regarding the tennis courts. Harbor Springs needs to thrive for future generations and for merchants, retailers, restaurants and younger, vibrant residents. All too often do I hear 'but, we want Harbor Springs to be what it used to be', or 'too much change is not good for the quaint town we don't want others to find out about'. All want to enjoy the beauty, the shops, the restaurants, but many simply do not understand that we need to be financially viable, or we risk losing what we love so much.
Removal of the tennis courts is really only one facet of what the experts have now told us on three separate occasions/studies that would be beneficial. For three years, our Place-making Committee of Harbor Springs have talked to professionals regarding Way-finding, Signage, Walk-ability and open space, in regards to creating a sense of place where people will congregate. The DDA, reinstated, will also be a huge force in taking on the four main concepts of the Main Street Program. A program that, amongst others, brought Boyne City back to a viable city.
While we have made some wonderful improvements, Street Musique, Waterfront Wine Festival, Harbor Springs Farmer's Market (including winter), trail ways, Tree Lighting, Summer White Party, and many more events, there is a small group of individuals responsible for almost all of these noted above.
One point not mentioned frequently is the expansion of the marina building. It is imperative that we have the amenities of other, larger marinas in the area. We have no laundry services in Harbor Springs!
In relation to Jim's opinion that our first visitors typically see, cyclone fences that do say, subliminally STAY OUT! As does the equipment that tells us we are driving too fast coming into town. Not a beautiful 'Welcome to Harbor Springs' sign at the bottom of the hill. (Recommended by Fred Kent of Project for Public Spaces, or pps.org).
"Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is a nonprofit planning, design and educational organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities. Our pioneering Placemaking approach helps citizens transform their public spaces into vital places that highlight local assets, spur rejuvenation and serve common needs.
I reiterate Jim's title of his letter 'Creative input rather than roadblocks, negativity.' We must come together, as a community, resist some change, and remember that first and foremost we all want to live/work and BE valuable members in Harbor Springs.