Letter - Covington serves as model of revitalization

To the editor:

Please, let's not let our one city go the way of so many other small Georgia towns with nothing but empty, boarded up storefronts and few humans in sight. Moving the court system to Parker Road would surely do just that.

The city of Conyers, The Main Street Program, The Downtown Development Authority and the Downtown Merchants Association are all working together to preserve this unique little town, and the Board of Commissioners should do no less.

No doubt, the county could build a huge judicial complex at Parker Road, but so could they build one on county owned property in downtown Conyers.

I would suggest we look at our neighbors to the East. Newton County did it just right! Not only did they choose to restore their courthouse, they chose to build their beautiful judicial building right next door. And have you noticed all the new businesses located in downtown, and all the people in those stores on the square? It is far from dead. Indeed, they even have lofts! Certainly they have the big box stores and so will we, but I really envy the folks in Newton County having a choice of where to shop. Nothing beats shopping where everyone knows your name.

Some of our residents are lucky enough to have been born here and can remember when going shopping meant a trip to downtown Conyers, some of us have lived here long enough to remember when we could buy our clothes from Gailey's and some of us have recently moved here from other parts of the world. Let's help them enjoy these same experiences. The warm friendliness of Small Town, America, is what everyone wants. Working together we can make downtown Conyers the envy of Covington. We may never have another Almand's Variety Store or Gailey's Department Store, but we can have other unique specialty shops. Take a stroll downtown and see if you don't agree it's worth saving.

We have only one city in our little county. It has been and continues to be the heart and soul of our community, let's not kill it.

Jean F. Hambrick