If growth is requested, then it should be supported

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By Kate Darnell

These sure are scary times. National and state budgets are strained, unemployment rates are at record highs, businesses are cutting back and local governments are declaring bankruptcy.

It seems that now, more than ever, there’s little hope for the growth of a small community like Cynthiana and Harrison County.

Long before our nation found itself in an economic crisis, many of us were scratching our heads and pondering what we could do to make our hometown of Cynthiana a success.

How could we market the assets of this town and county to the rest of the state and nation? What makes this place unique? How could we capitalize on the wave of tourists brought to the region for the World Equestrian Games in 2010?

As a reporter, I would be a rich woman if I had a dollar for how many times I’ve been told that Cynthiana/Harrison County needs more business stimulation... all said by individuals living in this town/county.

But does this community really want growth?

On Feb. 24, the Harrison County Fiscal Court will hold a public meeting prior to its regular meeting to hear opinions regarding plans to build an Amish bulk grocery store on US 27 North.

First brought to attention by the Cynthiana-Harrison County-Berry Joint Planning Commission, the vote to approve the zone change from residential to commercial was deadlocked, therefore moving the decision and vote to the county government.

For a town/county that is dying for business, why is it so hard for businesses to locate here?

The argument against the bulk grocery store is that it would bring too much traffic to the area.

The bulk grocery store would be located directly off US 27 North, a two-lane federal highway that already supports the heavy flow of traffic to northern Harrison County and Kentucky.

Isn’t that why two-lane highways are constructed - to assist the flow of business travel?

If this venture isn’t approved, are we saying, as a county, that we won’t promote business because business increases traffic?

Isn’t that why we didn’t want the interstate to run through Harrison County... because it would mean more traffic in our small town? Now, we sit beside Scott County and can only glimpse at their successful placement and revenue to match.

Enough about the business we want or don’t want... what about the businesses we already have?

Wanting business in this community and supporting business in this community are two different things... but unfortunately, you can’t have one without the other.

Are we, as a community doing all we can to support the businesses that are currently operating in this town/county? Are some Cynthiana/Harrison County businesses struggling because of the economic woes of this nation, or  are they struggling because their own community isn’t supporting them?

I think it’s time to really decide what this community wants Cynthiana/Harrison County to be. Do we want a small town/county that has cornered itself away from the chance of possibly prospering, or do we want what we say we want... a town/county that has successfully marketed its assets and has gratefully greeted new businesses, new people and new change with open arms?

And if we decide growth is truly what we want for our community, how are we each going to support that growth?

I think they’re questions worth answering... even during these scary times.