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Letters to the Editor

Hearing to be held on church proposal

Save Historic Norcross encourages interested residents to attend a public hearing before the mayor and council on a proposal to purchase the historic Old Methodist Church, using $2 million of the $5.5 million in SPLOST funds.

The hearing is set for 6 tonight at City Hall, with a vote likely at the June 5 regular council meeting.

Earlier this year, the City Council voted to approve an open real estate procurement policy.

Several months ago, Mayor Pro Tem Michael Lovelady approached the church owners and negotiated the contract that is now before the community for public input.

Advantages to purchasing the church property include:

•Preserve historic landmark centerpiece in The National Registry

•Stimulate the CID vitality that radiates from the central historic district

•Facilitate new master plan study for updating and implementing LCI study

•Control development in the commercial district core

•Provide immediate parking relief

•Plan cost still allows for more cost effective Performing Arts Center tailored to fit community needs at a fraction of proposed old schoolhouse costs, plus allows money for a Town Center Plaza and fountain off Skin Alley.

We are concerned that the church property, if not purchased by the city and used for a community center as envisioned by the LCI study, will be at risk for unsympathetic development.

Our grass-roots group has put material on its Web site (www.SaveHistoricNorcross.com) explaining the alternative options.

We would like to see a small, compatible cultural arts center and the preservation of the 1875 church as a conference, senior citizens and teen center, providing immediate benefits and parking relief to assist downtown revitalization.

- Anne Webb,

President

Save Historic Norcross

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