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Tourism jobs don’t sustain families

EDITOR:

Recently the mayor talked about the “legacy” that the current Escanaba City Council may be remembered for (the proposed hotel on the old jail property). It may be your legacy Mr. Tall, but I don’t think in the way that you believe it to be. When one looks at the proposed hotel there seems to have been plenty of room where an addition to the jail could have been done, inmates housed in it, then the old jail torn down and rebuilt tying it into the new construction. Once again this city puts the wishes of others before their own constituents. We already have a beautiful landmark overlooking the bay in the House of Ludington. And yes, it does need a lot of work but it seems that our city should be pushing for the sale and updating of this building as the historic landmark it is; not trying to turn it into low income or senior housing. And how ill this proposed new facility affect the sale of the House of Ludington as a hotel? And how long before the Municipal Dock is sold out from under us?

Most people that I have spoken to are not if favor of or happy about this project. And no Mr. Jordan, “we do not, need it, need it, need it”!

The Chamber of Commerce was moved out to the highway, taking away more green space from the fairgrounds. If more space was needed at the Chamber, why not go up as did the Delta County Service building? Having the Chamber at the end of Ludington Street gave people a wonderful look at our town as they proceeded down our main street. And many of us would like to know why we have a Webster Marble museum here when the man is so closely tied to Gladstone?

Then the ridiculous Farmer’s Market is built so far from the lake that people who come in on boats can’t easily walk or bike to it. And along with that (I have shopped there a few times but won’t anymore) it is dark, cold and a regular wind tunnel. And parking is totally inconvenient; one’s wares are hidden from anyone passing on the street because of where the vendors have to park.

In the past few years our City (and officials) seem to have worked hard to push out Super One and Shopko and probably even JC Penney by the building of Meijer. Seriously! Our infrastructure (obviously) is not large enough to support all of these stores. And once again, bigger is NOT better.

The city (County) has always pushed tourism to the detriment of the head of household working population. We need more EMPs, Vanaires, Pisces, Lancaster Manufacturing, etc. which offers decent jobs to keep our young people in the area. A certain amount of tourism is nice but unfortunately it does not pay the kind of wages that sustain a family. Tourism is not the be-all and end-all answer to everything!

Bonnie Cowell

Escanaba