OPINION COLUMNS

Growing not a pain

By Racey Burden | Published Wednesday, July 19, 2017
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I’ve seen a lot of complaints about growth lately, especially at public meetings and in the Facebook comments of the Messenger posts.

New retail possibly coming to Bridgeport? Stay away, this is a rural community. People moving into Wise County from the Metroplex or other states? They should go back where they came from, they’re just raising our property taxes.

Racey Burden

Now, I’m not someone who’s spent their entire life in one place, which is maybe why I don’t understand this backlash to change, but I have lived in Wise County for more than a decade. And y’all, the change I’ve seen since I moved here is mostly good.

Remember when Decatur Square was next to empty? Now it’s thriving, full of local boutique shops and great places to eat. The same goes for Halsell Street in Bridgeport – it might not quite be there yet, but I think positive growth is coming thanks to the city’s revitalization project, which has given the street quite the facelift. Rhome is preparing for a 1,000-home development to come to town, which will provide a lot of tax money to use on city projects. I’m sure there are other examples from other towns; those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

Things change over time, always, and communities this close to a metropolitan area are bound to grow. I understand the appeal of the countryside, I really do, but there’s still quite a bit of undeveloped land in Wise County – look at the LBJ National Grasslands for an example that’s actually protected from encroaching development. I think we can stand to have a bit of both, the country and the city, and personally I’d like to not have to drive 45 minutes to fulfill all my shopping needs. Bringing in new retail, especially local retail, definitely benefits the county and cities through sales tax dollars that stay here, and new families are new people to get involved with community events. It’s not all negative, y’all.

At the very least, let’s please stop putting down the people who do choose to move here and show them a little of that famous Texas hospitality.

Racey Burden is a Messenger reporter.

One Response to “Growing not a pain”

  1. I think reporters should stick to reporting.

    One of the biggest CHANGES I’ve seen in “journalism” in the last 10 years is the intentional blurring of the line between news and opinion.
    In this region, The Dallas Morning News started this parade and other outfits quickly joined in.
    Ms. Burden should no longer be able to report on local “growth” issues for the WCM.
    At least in REAL journalism, that would be the case.

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