Give change a chance

Friday, November 18, 2011

Changes at times come by accident and work out for the best.

Monett leaders once tried to develop the original airport, where Monett High School is now located. The old property could never have been expanded in the same way. The city's major resource developed much more adequately in its current location. At one time, the present high school site was indeed out in the country. Times change. Sometimes for the best.

The relocation of Highway 60 from 13th Street and Broadway to the south looked like a terrible move 50 years ago. Even when 13th Street underwent a major overhaul after the Centennial Overpass opened, concern focused on the consequences of routing traffic away from downtown Monett.

The evolution of traffic through town has made the switch desirable. A high volume of truck traffic on Broadway would make pedestrian activities downtown much less inviting.

The addition of another nine holes to the municipal golf course on the east side of Highway 37 has also worked out quite well, creating a very inviting spot in the middle of town.

Sometimes these things require a leap of faith.

In the coming week, visitors to Monett's South Park will face another one of those moments of uncertainty as they see changes in the Festival of Lights display. More people visit the park during the Christmas season than any other time of year. Changes they will see when they tour the light display are due to construction of the new Monett Area YMCA.

Nonetheless, the Monett community has experienced a good track record when it comes to changes like these. The Monett Chamber of Commerce has tinkered with its light display arrangement every year since the project started in 2004. Chamber Executive Director Suzy McElmurry said the whole Festival of Lights will seem like a new show this year because of the changes. Those who haven't visited for a few years should return to see the 77 displays.