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Infrastructure needs are many: Why baseball?


 Rundown property and poorly maintained streets line the Princess Anne 'gateway.'
SUZANNE CARR ROSSI/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Visit the Photo Place
Date published: 7/14/2013

I encourage the Fredericksburg City Council to abandon the notion to build a multiuse stadium in Central Park. As a resident of Fredericksburg and Winchester, I offer my perspective on council deliberations. Winchester City Council elected to not pursue the Hagerstown Suns after determining that the up-front cost and annual debt service conflicted with long-planned capital improvement needs. The same quandary exists here.

Yet there are those who see this as a boon even when stated annual revenue seems not to cover the mortgage. Why dig a new hole to pour money into?

Winchester has committed to a capital improvement plan that enhances the community. Examples include the overhaul of the downtown walking mall and the Amherst Street approach to the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley. The Economic Development Authority is purchasing several properties to improve ingress along the U.S. 7 gateway, and has partnered to revitalize the historic Taylor Hotel on the walking mall.

I've maintained a home here for 20 years. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Our principal gateway, Princess Anne Street, aside from Carl's and the 2400 Diner, is rundown or vacant property. Streets are in need of repaving. Equally deficient is the Stafford County side of the river. The two approaches to the city, Chatham and Falmouth bridges, remain covered with sand and gravel from past winter storms. Falmouth along Jefferson Davis Highway is just as dilapidated as I found it in 1993. Improvements to Chatham Heights are lost in the weeds growing in the dividing islands, and the "new" Cool Spring Road during heavy rains is nothing but a waterslide from clogged storm drains.

I know VDOT maintains Stafford's roads, but when will elected officials apply pressure to clean up these thoroughfares?

Falmouth and Fredericksburg have much to offer the visitor, yet the potential of these treasures remains hidden. How long will it take for kudzu to overwhelm the pretty sign welcoming people to Stafford at the end of the "Bridge to Nowhere"?

Peter Vernimb

Falmouth