My parents and I rode down Main Street yesterday and were very sad at what we saw. It's not that we don't drive that route on a daily basis, but for whatever reason, we really looked at it this time. How did things get so crummy looking? Are there any laws that would require building owners to take care of their properties? Starting with the former fast food place on the corner that seems to be falling apart. Fast forward to the end of the block to the former theater building. We've seen birds flying into that building through the open windows. It must have inhabitants...doesn't seem to be too healthy or safe to have that happening.
Believe me, my house would look a lot better - landscaping, a driveway that was smooth with no cracks and heaving from the cold weather along with a multitude of other improvements that should be done - if we had the money to take care of those things. I have no doubt that the building owners would do something with these buildings if they were financially able.
When we were staying with my friend who lives near Harrisburg, we noticed signs that told of the millions of dollars up for grabs through the powerball and lottery drawings. I was wishing I could win such a drawing. I would, of course, help my family...kids, grandkids, parents, brothers, nieces and nephews and more...first. I've also had dreams of what could be done with this town, if only I had a hundred million dollars or so. On my wish list for Port Allegany are things like an assisted living center...a place where people could live, much as they do at Page Place and Medburry Manor, but with a little more...a staff that could check on residents...the ones who need checking on - with things like their medicines....a cafeteria or dining room where residents could get their meals...if they wanted to, but could cook in their own space as well...with some outdoor space so those who were able and could, could garden, barbecue or whatever.
I always thought it would be great if we had a community college...something to bring people into our community. When we went to the Grove City Factory Outlets, I heard someone there saying how little the town was - yet they had a college and a factory outlet. Why not in Port Allegany? We drive to Coudy, Olean and Bradford to go to the movies. We used to drive to Coudy, Smethport, Olean and Bradford ...to go bowling or swimming at the Y. Wouldn't it be great to have a complex with a movie theater, bowling alley, indoor swimming or skating or both? Would people come and support such a thing? Why wouldn't people come to Port Allegany if we have something that would interest them? Who knows? I sure wish we could try. I surely would not want to have these things fail, adding more empty buildings to our landscape.
Where do towns get money to start a community college, entertainment complex, assisted living for the elderly? At this point, I'd be happy to just get the buildings we have looking presentable and in use...or even to have them torn down. The way the downtown looks now is embarrassing. I feel bad saying that because since I am doing nothing to correct the problem, I should also not be complaining.
Another thing I would do with my lottery winnings would be to help the fire department so they could spend their time training and doing what they do as well or better than anyone - fighting fires and aiding in all types of emergencies, big or small...instead of using their manpower to raise funds on top of everything else they do. I'd help to get the library built, the schools what they need (along with air conditioning ...that would be a selfish gift as I am sure I suffer as much or more than anyone just from the amount of time I spend there. There would be an even nicer fitness center and medical offices...if only I had the money!
There are so many things on my wish list for this community that I'm running out of space. There's also a pretty slim to none chance that I will be winning the lottery or powerball millions. So, what can we do In the old days, a community would get together to raise a barn... but how do you get together to make empty buildings look better? What do you do to get the eyesores torn down...or better yet, improved and in use?
We may not have a lot of money to throw around but we do have a lot of smart people in this town. We also have a lot of people who are not lazy by any means. It seems as though something could be done. I'm good at wishing...I'm not good at coming up with a feasible plan. Who is? Ideas are welcome!