A little while back some local folks from Barrow Preservation Society teamed with the Winder DDA in an effort to secure a matching grant to restore The Granite Hotel.
The City Council voted in March to apply for the 60-40 matching grant before they voted against it when it was awarded in August.
That sounds vaguely familiar, but I can’t say that I blame them.
Money has been tight for the City, the County, the churches, local businesses, and local families for awhile now.
They just couldn’t justify putting the City on the line for almost three-quarters of a million dollars when other basic infrastructure improvements need to be funded throughout the city. While some councilmen expressed concern that their opposing vote would adversely impact longtime friendships, proponents of the grant understood better than anyone realized that the project just had not been developed enough to justify the City’s blessing or financial support.
So here we are going into winter with a couple of buildings in downtown Winder that need some serious work. In our throwaway mindset, we don’t recognize that it would be a whole lot less expensive to repair them than to replace them. We also don’t stop to consider how much more valuable is a restored original building to our community integrity than to tear down and build something that is “faux old” — it looks old, but it very definitely is not.