If businesses don't learn from Kokomo, they are doomed to the same fate

To the editor:

It is my understanding that there have been previous attempts to devastate this area with a bypass but the business and residential community had the wisdom, common sense and foresight to stop it. The difference between now and then is that much of the wisdom that comes with age has retired and the younger generation who have taken over for their parents have been convinced by special interest groups that this bypass will be good for business. Nothing could be further from the truth.

To all of the area small point-of-sale business owners who have been falsely convinced that this Mid-States Corridor is needed and will be beneficial to you, I urge you to rethink this fallacy with Kokomo’s bypass history in mind.

I grew up in South Bend and made the drive to Indianapolis countless times, so I know this to be true. Kokomo fought a bypass for over 50 years; yes, 50 years! Why? Because Kokomo thrived by folks driving straight through town on U.S. 31 to get from South Bend to Indianapolis.

When the bypass finally got “pushed” through by the powerful and mighty a few years ago, it accomplished exactly what Kokomo business owners were afraid of — it “By-Passed” their businesses and, of course, they suffered. Again, the real benefit was for the non-point-of-sale businesses whose only interest was to get their trucks from point A to point B faster.

If local businesses do not learn from Kokomo, they are doomed to the same fate. This highway will NOT help your business, it will HURT your business because the highway will do exactly what its name dictates; it will BYPASS you and your business. However, businesses like Meyer Distributing and Kimball will only gain by the highway but will lose nothing if it doesn’t go through. You, however, have everything to lose if it does goes through!

Please take the time to stop the Mid-States Corridor. Petitions are located at Denny’s Auto on the east side of Jasper, Dubois County Tire on the north side and Leinenbach Tire on the west side in Ireland.

—Patricia Crain

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