Letters to the editor

Published 2:09 am Wednesday, July 11, 2007

By Staff
I don't know of anyone who is against the construction of a new middle school for the City of Brewton. However, I know of hundreds (and nearing thousands) of citizens that are simply against the proposed location. The signatures on the petition to save Dogwood Hills Golf Course, which number well over 1,600 and counting, are evidence of this.
Every so often, a cause arises which inspires people to go out of their way to make their voice heard. I believe this to be one such case. Each week, people make dedicated trips to the Pro Shop for the sole purpose of signing this Men's Association petition. There is also a website (savedogwoodhills.tripod.com) dedicated to saving the course.
There are many different reasons people want to build the middle school in a different location. People are worried about the increased traffic congestion at the north end of town, especially across from a Super WalMart. Golfers are concerned about elevation changes making it harder, and in some cases impossible, to walk and that shortening of the course, which will hurt its viability and playability. Environmentalists are worried about proposed wetlands areas slated for the course redesign. Parents are concerned about their children's safety in having to walk longer disturbances about increased traffic flow. And others just want to preserve the park as it is for this and future generations. Regardless of the reason, they all come together with the same basic request, please choose another location to build the middle school.
In today's society there seems to be such a rush to expand, build and develop. Sometimes the tough choices aren't in making way for future development, but in keeping what we already have and enjoy. Even the municipal course in Pensacola (Oscceola) is under attack from developers who see its future in houses, forgetting that those families and everyone else in the area will lack a recreational facility to use.
Other than one council meeting in May 2005, signing the petition, and letters to the editor, the public has not had a chance to voice their opinion. The latest Middle School Site Selection Committee meeting was held in May 2007. The public was invited to attend, but not invited to speak. In addition to signing the petition, there is another way to voice your opinion. It is my understanding that our City Council members have to vote on any land transaction that involves the sale of City property. Please take the time and call your councilperson. Talk to Ann Marie Sasser, Frank Cotton, Henry Uptagraff, William McGhee and Cary Barton. Their vote will ultimately decide whether a piece of Brewton history will be saved, or if our landscape will be changed forever. The true win-win situation is preserving the course as it is, and simply build the school at another location.
Dick and Charlotte Tracy