I cry for Fulton
I feel sorry for Fulton, that gem of a small town on the Mississippi. Sorrow at what could have been.
Instead, acrimonious local politics have inflicted a deep wound. The city council has voted to tear down the historic Drives Building for which they paid $1 several years ago.
Instead of refurbishing it, they let the building deteriorate, refusing generous local financial assistance for a rehab, and have thus parleyed victory into defeat by planning to spend about $200,000 to remove the asbestos and demolish the structure.
If that $200,000 had been used to refurbish and enhance the Robert Fulton Community Center (instead of selling it for an insignificant sum), the town today would be proudly displaying a shining anchor building for its downtown, something to attract visitors and serve residents.
The bays of the old fire station could have been rehabbed into community rooms, areas reconfigured for a myriad activities and office space, the roof repaired, the kitchen upgraded, and citizen morale would not be depressed and cynical.
But it will not be so. Fulton has taken two big steps backward. Historical opportunities have been squandered. I cry for Fulton and its people and for all of us who used to visit Fulton often. The town has lost two shining beacons of the soul: the Robert Fulton Community Center and the Drives Building. Rest in Peace if you can.