Commentary

Take a walk

Downtown: Work to be done, new activity, lots of people who care

There was a great deal of talk at the last city council meeting about how much we need to get some kind of resolution on the ‘bombed out’ buildings downtown which have just sat there since the wall fell last August.

That’s true. We do. And there are people working on it. Thanks for your efforts. Please keep working.

It’s interesting to look at downtown, and Rockdale as a whole, though. There are actually things happening in a positive sense.

Take a walk through downtown, literally, especially on Main Street. There are two new businesses going in at the corner of Main and Cameron (FM 908-US 79). A falling-down building across the street has finally been demolished and hauled away.

The twin “anchors” at each of those two blocks of Main, the I&GN Depot-Museum and the Kay Theatre, look great. They are town showpieces. A grant is hopefully in the works to link them with a new sidewalk.

Friday morning about 11 a.m. there were 19 vehicles parked in the 200 block of Main, between Cameron and Bell. It may not be Rockdale in the 1970s but somebody was open and doing business.

The Municipal Development District (MDD) is getting going on a facade improvement program to assist businesses that want to work on their storefronts, not only downtown, but all over Rockdale.

And, perhaps more important than any of those things, downtown Rockdale has a secret weapon, a dedicated core of people who care about it and are willing to work hard to make it better. Many of them are in the Rockdale Downtown Association. Many just want to pitch in.

Nobody will tell you things are great. Alcoa isn’t coming back, the economic stimulus that was Nocturnal Wonderland is gone, at least for this year, and there are way too many vacant buildings everywhere.

But things are happening. And people do care.—M.B.


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2013-02-21 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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