Editor's note: The Cullman City Council, in their meeting on March 20, OK'd a trial run for a pedestrian park on First Avenue in the Warehouse District. The trial run allows for the street to be closed each Saturday in April from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. Afterward, the plan will be reviewed. Police Chief Kenny Culpepper and Fire Chief Edward Reinhardt were asked to be prepared to offer their opinions on the plan at that time.
Dear Mayor and Council of Cullman,
I am writing, on behalf of myself and my elderly mother, concerning the proposed street closure on the weekends, in the Warehouse District, of your city. We were told of this possibility while we were shopping in the area, this past weekend, April 1, 2017. The street was closed during our visit.
We were told that this closure was being considered for every weekend. I respectfully request that this closure not be approved. My mother is unable to walk to and from the shops, when we must park in the handicap parking, or the other parking in the lots that are placed at the ends of these blocks. For her safety and ease, it is much easier for us to be able to park near the shop entrances and move down the block to each store, we wish to visit.
We shop in Cullman, usually three out of the four weekends a month. We eat lunch in the Warehouse District, parking near the deli. Then drive back around the block to the shops, on the street that is being blocked off, shopping in at least 2-4 of the shops. We enjoy our day-trips to Cullman. We travel approximately an hour one way, to reach your city. We would miss getting to eat and shop in Cullman, unfortunately, we are afraid that is a choice we will be forced to make, should this closure take place.
While loss of our spending would probably not have a great negative effect on the shops or the city tax revenue, our estimated spending in this area of Cullman would be an approximate combined amount of $6,000 -7,000 annually, it would be a loss for the shop owners and the city. I don’t believe that we are the only two shoppers that would be affected negatively by the street closure, therefore, the loss of revenue could become considerable.
I know that economic growth is the ultimate goal of this proposal, but please consider the losses that may occur. What may be gained by the one-time shopper, making an impulse purchase, would be a minimal plus, considering the loss of revenue, when the frequent, loyal supporters of this area are no longer able to access the shops, in a safe, convenient manner, during the blockage of the street.
Thank you for your time and consideration of my thoughts and concerns of this proposal. Please know that your decision on this matter will directly influence the choice of my 80-year-old mother and myself, to where we will choose to shop and spend our money.
I will be sharing this letter with the local newspaper as well, so that others of similar thinking may realize the need to share their opinions as well.