March 19, 2008: Include Arkville
To The Editor:
The current controversy over the two proposed ‚ÄúFamily General Dollar But It Costs More Than That Stores‚Äù indicates a profound lack of knowledge of local history and geography.
To begin this lesson; the Village of Margaretville and the unincorporated hamlet of Arkville are two separate and distinct communities. They have different fire departments, water systems, and if you have applied for a mortgage lately, you will know there are property value differences.
Arkville is much larger than many people realize. Its commercial strip begins at the Town of Middletown offices. That means the Inn Between isn‚Äôt. It‚Äôs in Arkville. Margaretville Bowl and the Margaretville Motel are in Arkville. The Delaware National Bank of Delhi and the Hess Express, though claiming to be in Margaretville, are not. In all, there are more than 50 active businesses in Arkville, with a couple more on the way.
Many years ago, there used to be a great deal more than that, but as a former Chicago Cubs general manager once said, ‚Äúeveryone is entitled to a bad century now and then.‚Äù
Fires and a widening of Route 28 took out major portions of Arkville‚Äôs business district, But its wide road and flat, open spaces now make Arkville a good location for the type of sprawl development that modern businesses seek.
There is a common belief that what‚Äôs good for Margaretville is good for the entire area. History will tell you that what‚Äôs good for Margaretville is good for Margaretville, Just ask the residents of Arkville or Fleischmanns.
In fact, many people in Fleischmanns predicted that the construction of the current A&P in 1967, which automatically shut down the Fleischmanns A&P, would also mean the end of Solomon‚Äôs market and ultimately the viability of the village itself. There were of course other factors and Margaretville could hardly be faulted for accepting a new store.
A Margaretville ghost town would be bad for everyone. But while a presumably good faith effort is underway to map out a plan to revitalize Margaretville, I find it preposterous not to include Arkville as an integral part of the planning procedure.
If planners are indeed including Arkville, why haven‚Äôt they told us?