Pierceville points to ponder

Published 5:31 pm Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

The following are three points concerning the Pierceville development proposal that I’d like to raise publicly:

  • I commend Mr. Randy Pack for resigning as chairman of the Planning Commission and recusing himself from any matters regarding the Pierceville development coming before the PC or Town Council. I hope all other Town Council members and town employees follow his lead.  That is what the voters expect and deserve, even if it’s not required by law.
  • The town should commission an independent third party to conduct a pedestrian and vehicle traffic study of the effects the development would have on the downtown. The results of the study and the supporting data should be made publicly available.

Without that data, I am highly skeptical that it will be beneficial to move the farmers market out of the downtown area. Will visitors still patronize the small businesses on Main Street if the farmers market is no longer drawing them there on Saturdays? Without hard data, any answer to that question is just a guess. If data already exists, it should be shared.

  • Historic documents indicate there are likely burials somewhere on the Pierceville parcel, potentially including those of persons who were enslaved there. The town and Mr. Luter (or any developer) should jointly commit to identifying that location and protecting it appropriately.  There are several local nonprofit groups that would assist in this.

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Nick Blevins