LETTER: SPLOST money should be used to repair sidewalks too

Published 9:30 am Tuesday, October 11, 2022

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Dear Editor,

Because of my work obligations I was unable to attend the multi-governmental meeting Wednesday, October 5 on potential projects for the next round of SPLOST dollars in preparation for the referendum.  I also did not get a sense that community member input was an option at the meeting. I did read the LaGrange Daily News’ thorough coverage of the highlights of the meeting.

It was stated that $10 million dollars of the city of LaGrange’s portion will be earmarked for added paths for The Thread. It is a tremendously popular addition to LaGrange. However, a sizeable amount of the SPLOST funds should go toward adding/improving sidewalks in the areas of our city where people must walk because they do not have an alternative means of transportation. It is all well and good that we have a great trail to exercise on but there is a large population in our community that must walk to the grocery store, to the laundromat, to convenience stores and food outlets. Have you ever seen anyone carrying their groceries or laundry while walking on The Thread?

I encourage members of our community to sit in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot at the S-Curve on South Greenwood Street for 30 minutes and observe the amount of pedestrian traffic. There are at least eight thriving businesses in a two block radius. In addition, take note that there are no benches, no improved landscaping/hardscape or even shade. As you drive through District Two neighborhoods you will see weed covered sidewalks, cracked sidewalks, no sidewalks at all. Safe sidewalks and beautification needs to be a priority in our community but especially in the often overlooked and neglected District Two.

I also suggest allocating city SPLOST funds for the proposed outdoor pool, which will be built and managed by the Troup County Parks and Recreation Department.  

Every child in our city/county should learn how to swim for safety, for exercise and for mere recreation. We need an outdoor pool to replace the one taken away when Sweetland was designed and built. Look beyond which government entity manages the pool and invest in an outdoor pool for the children and families of LaGrange.

Laura R. Jennings