Letter to the editor: Dam-repair supporters want to pay a special assessmentI was disappointed to read the letter to the editor in The Jamestown Sun attacking the effort to repair the Icehouse Dam. I live on the James River in the northwest part of town, so have a direct interest in the dam.
By: James R. Jungroth, The Jamestown Sun
I was disappointed to read the letter to the editor in The Jamestown Sun attacking the effort to repair the Icehouse Dam. I live on the James River in the northwest part of town, so have a direct interest in the dam.
The writer seized upon someone’s statement that the dam benefits the entire town and perhaps the entire city should pay the cost of repair.
A group of property owners on the James River and Pipestem Creek formed an informal “River Committee” several years ago with the main purpose to repair and preserve the Icehouse Dam. This dam backs water in the James River all the way up to the Jamestown Dam and raises the level of the Pipestem Creek. An attractive river is an asset to the town as well as a direct benefit to those who own land on it. A low river would be a detriment to the property owners and lower property values for these river lots. I presume this lowing of property values would result in lower taxes on these lots and the revenue would have to be made up by the rest of the town.
That having been said, everyone I know on the “River Committee” favors a special assessment district composed of river lots up river from the Icehouse Dam who receive a direct benefit from dam.
Other than my time in the military in World War II and for schooling, I have lived in Jamestown for my 83 years. I do not ever remember the negative attitudes displayed first with efforts to quiet the train horns and now with the Icehouse Dam. I live far enough back from the railroad so this noise does not bother me, but I empathize with those who are disturbed and support their efforts to eliminate this regular annoyance.
A community must be more than a group of people living in close proximity. It involves supporting the needs and desires of others when possible, and not just supporting matters where one has a direct involvement.
If we continue this negativism, what will be next? Will we oppose support for the airport if we never fly? Will we oppose support for the library because we never use it? Will we oppose support for public schools as we have no children or grandchildren attending?
I must emphasize that all of the landowners on the rivers with whom I am familiar favor a special assessment district of river lots benefited to pay for the dam repairs and are not asking for other city money.
As to being a community, we should take time for reflection and repeat to ourselves the philosophy which we were taught as children, “Do unto others as we would have others do unto us.”
James R. Jungroth