November 28, 2013

Letter: Good intentions aren’t enough

— As I read the article in the Sunday Daily Citizen I found it very disturbing.

“The (Emery) center needs a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, which is estimated to cost $60,000. The center also needs to replace sections of the roof, estimated to cost $20,000; the gutters, $1,200; and the fire alarm system needs repairs and upgrade.”

It is my opinion that the historical legacy of “Dalton’s first school for black students” has clearly been mishandled. Curtis Rivers, director of the Emery Center, was quoted in the paper saying, “I don’t know what happens if we close. I don’t want to think about it. A lot of people have entrusted me and the board members with memorabilia. I’d rather display it and be proud of it.”

Apparently, there has been no budget planned and no preparation by those in charge and little or no efforts made by community leaders or elected officials. It appears that there has been some discussion but no actions taken to maintain the Emery Center by anyone. Think about it.

“The lease agreement signed in 2003 states the Emery Center is responsible for the upkeep on the building.”

From 2003 until 2014 allowed a time span of approximately 11 years to plan/budget/raise funds for the upkeep of the building. According to the Daily Citizen article, Rivers said, “At the time we had no knowledge of the extent of the upkeep on this building.”

Ten or 11 years after the agreement was signed is just a little late to have an inspection showing that the center is in need of a $60,000 renovation. I surely hope and trust that the Freight Depot, which is the current location for the Dalton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Downtown Dalton Development Authority, and the Old Post Office, which houses the Carpet and Rug Institute and the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce, are being maintained by whomever may have been granted the responsibility for a budget to keep them up. I read about “intent.” However, “good intentions” do not always equate into action such as budgeting and maintaining any structure or business. I certainly hope the funds are raised, but time is short.

Paul A. Tipton