Letter to the editor: ‘Driving by looking in the rearview mirror’Published 7:19pm Tuesday, February 26, 2013
To the Editor:
I read with interest Mr. Bill Sykes column, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, concerning a new Beaufort County jail. I think his suggestions are “spot-on” for the Washington City Council. (And the Beaufort County commissioners, for that matter.)
Over the years, we have lived where new jail(s) were located out of the established downtown area. The new jail(s) were built to include courtrooms. All activities concerning those incarcerated were held there. This worked great; no moving of prisoners. The old courthouse in town was still used for all other activities, without significant loss to downtown merchants.
I think the council and commissioners need to spend more time envisioning what the town of Washington will be in 20 to 30 to 50 years, and stop “driving by looking in the rearview mirror.” To build a new jail downtown only because that is where it has been is shortsighted. Moving the jail may cost downtown merchants a small amount in the short term. But it is a step toward creating a more different downtown, of interest to locals and tourists.