Remains of downtown bring to mind

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 18, 1999

a number of troubling questions

As downtown Goshen continues to crumble, we have to wonder if a community center is what the town needs.

The town of Goshen does not have a large population, and will those people who live there utilize the new building enough to constitute the construction a community center? If so, we are glad the mayor and town council have moved ahead with a plan to bring unity to the community. If not, we have to question whether the funds could have been better used elsewhere.

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Some of the roads in Goshen are in need of repair. A law enforcement officer in the town would make the town safe for the residents, or downtown could have been revitalized to its former beauty with funds like those being used for the community center.

Mayor Michael Sanders said the town council has been discussing the possibility of a community center in downtown and saving money for it’s construction for residents to use for reunions, community events and other activities that occur during the year. He said the only places available now are the Goshen High School cafeteria and a local diner. If those places are serving the purpose for meetings and such, then why tear down downtown Goshen, which is a part of history, to construct another building? And a another question remains. Is a community center what the residents of the town of Goshen want?

The town has received several grants totaling $250,000 for the demolition and construction of the community center. If money could be obtained for the demolition of downtown, then why wasn’t money sought a long time ago to preserve the buildings and the history they held before they were beyond repair and removed?

Granted, not all of the history of Goshen lies in the buildings which are being demolished. The present site of the town of Goshen and surrounding communities were once a thriving part of Pike County, and many of the ancestors of the founding families still reside in those areas.

If the town of Goshen is looking for unity, then a building called a "community center" is not the answer. Unity in a town like Goshen comes from warm hand shakes, friendly waves, comraderie between the citizens and the safety and security of a small town in Alabama.

It is unfortunate the damage done to downtown Goshen is irreversible, and we hope the town’s goal of community unity will be achieved.