Regarding your recent editorial concerning the Beacon Street Project, I wish to clarify some issues. Larry Loftin (a Christian man) has bent over backwards in helping the city of Laurel on numerous projects including this one. He agreed and took their offer on another property he owns to help move this project along. He does not own the property in question by himself, from my understanding this property is in a partnership that has several members. Donald McDonald shares no ownership either.

As a local business owner I pay substantial city and county taxes which will be used as well as anyone else’s on this and other projects. I can see no justification for the city forcing them to sell them this property at a significantly reduced price to fulfill someone else’s dream.

What the city needs to  be focusing on rather than spending millions on one street, is repairing ALL CITY STREETS so that we citizens and visitors to the city don’t have to dodge potholes. Our streets have been neglected and allowed to fall into a horrible state of disrepair. That can’t make Laurel look good.

The median which is planned for Leontyne Price Blvd. will be a great inconvenience to travelers into and out of the city. This has been proven to squash sales. According to the Owners of McDonalds this same type of Median was installed in front of their store in Hattiesburg where their sales DECLINED by $30,000 per month and at 9 percent sales tax that computes to $2700 per month for LIFE!! The freedom to turn wherever we need to now will be taken away. All for the sake of someone’s perception of what will make Laurel “look good” on a TV screen.

I know this probably will not be published either way you should be ashamed of your Article!!!

Bill Piehl


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