It is almost like a scene from a horror movie. Raccoons invade downtown and destroy offices. Office workers are afraid to bring their lunches to work for fear a raccoon may pounce upon them.
When K. R. Deaton of Tri-County Mortgage told us about the raccoons ransacking his office just a couple of doors down from our Corbin office I thought it was the wildest thing I had heard.
My first thought was that the raccoons had lost their home next door when the Cox building was taken down. But no, the critters had been in his building before that.
Now we are worried that our office may be the next target. I don’t know how they would get in the building, but Deaton didn’t know how they got in his building.
Now it is up to Ronnie “The Critter Catcher” of London, don’t you just love his title, to set traps and get this thing under control.
I had no idea that raccoons like the city life. If it is one thing this world does not need, it is sophisticated raccoons.
I been told that people out in the county have been having a problem with raccoons too.
About the destruction of the Cox building on Main Street, I count it as the 22nd major building gone in an area from Roy Kidd Avenue to 5th Street and from Depot Street to Poplar Street in the downtown area of Corbin since the late 1950’s.
Once Depot Street was filled with buildings. It is now mostly parking lots. That was where the YMCA was located as well as other bigger buildings.
Main Street has it vacancies too. Starting a the corner of 5th and Main Wilder Hardware once occupied that corner. Across the street was the Clovertop Bakery building.
On up the street a big hole was left when the Sterchi building burned. Then on up the street the building that housed Belk’s and Mitchell Hardware is now Nibroc Park.
Just a few years ago the building that was formerly occupied by Distad Jewelry at Main and Monroe burned. It is now a vacant lot.
We have less of a town structure now than we had 50 years ago.
In the meantime many new buildings have sprung up on the outskirts of the town. Very little building has taken place in the downtown area.
It is said that each city’s downtown area is the heartbeat of the community. Many small towns have a court square or historic buildings to add atmosphere. Corbin does not.
It is a town that will be very difficult to beautify. Old building versus historic building don’t add, but rather subtract from the appearance.
If the owners of the vacant lots built new buildings then it would give the town new life. Also, a few more parks with benches and shade trees would add immensely in place of empty buildings and vacant lots.
A few more buildings like Terry Forcht built on Depot and 6th Streets would vastly improve the area.
However, when taxpayers have to buy materials for property owners that can well afford to improve their own buildings it is not a good sign that much improvement will be accomplished.
This is unfair to those who pay to improve their property. Why should taxpayers have to fork the bill before some will agree to improvements.
The improvements in the appearance of downtown buildings is not a hopeless cause. But before much can be done attitudes will have to change and owners will have to be willing to spend what is necessary to make it happen.
And it takes everybody. Look at the improvements made on Main Street in London. They are great. But there are some places that are ugly eyesores. This greatly diminishes the progress that has been made.
Let’s hope that all the vacant buildings and the vacant lots are given the attention that will help turn this from a negative to a positive.
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