We need road repairs, not a new arts center

newsroom@islandpacket.comJune 2, 2014 

Hilton Head Island is suffering from a serious case of passive neglect. Lots of streets are have potholes, uneven pavement and crumbling asphalt edges. Many parking lots have not had a new layer of asphalt in decades.

The exit road from Pineland Station to Matthews Drive is disgusting. Coligny Plaza needs to be power washed and painted. The improved intersection of Main Street and Hospital Center Drive still needs to be reconfigured as a traffic circle.

What we do not need is a new arts center. This island is not an arts and culture destination. Not enough residents are interested, as proven by the multi-year need to use town funds to keep the current center afloat. It's not because it is too small; there just is not enough interest. If some local business groups believe it is financially sound, let them and potential patrons fund it, build it, operate it, and maintain it. Do not use tax dollars for a venue that will never be successful.

Visitors come here for the beach, golf, bicycling, etc. -- not to attend a "cultural event" that they can participate in back home where there is no beach. Why do we fail to grasp that fundamental concept? Large cities are finding it impossible to support the arts. Why do we think we are an exception?

Wake up and enjoy our naturally-beautiful island for what it is.

David Thompson

Hilton Head Island

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