An Aug. 22 Times article concerning Carrabelle's faltering economy included a recommendation to improve the appearance of Carrabelle's eastern entryway with new signage, monuments, landscaping, etc. Enacting a law governing the appearance of commercial signs was also suggested.
Unfortunately, I feel that implementation of these particular measures at this point in time would be putting the cart before the horse. These actions will not serve to attract visitors or permanent residents to the area. These measures would have no beneficial impact on the current economic problems here. Proceeding with these recommended measures would be akin to putting a new front door on a house while ignoring its badly leaking roof.
As has been pointed out by prior editorial submitters, attention should be given to the area's many derelict structures. We basically need to tear down, clean up and clear out the area's eyesores. Falling down, vacant structures and overgrown, junk strewn lots only serve to overpower the attraction of Carrabelle's (and the rest of Franklin County's) natural beauty and its bountiful natural resources. Additional legislation will not make the area more attractive. There needs to be compliance with the laws already in effect. Franklin County would probably benefit from the addition of a code compliance officer position.
Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel and make Carrabelle into something which it is not, we need to accentuate the positive and make use of what we've got. There are very few places blessed with this area's natural beauty and resources. Refer to SaltyFlorida.com, Franklin's TDC's website, for examples of this area's offerings.
For ideas for profitable growth, I suggest you peruse the bigbendnature.com website. This website concerns the Big Bend area of Texas, but it could easily serve as a guidepost for application in Carrabelle/Franklin County. Please check it out. Big Bend Texas attracts visitors from around the globe.
Before putting up any new signs I feel we need to address the area's current shortcomings. Let's clean up and clear out where necessary. We can then start to develop a clear picture of what we want Carrabelle's future to be and to decide on what steps are needed to achieve that end.
Let's make Carrabelle a community we're proud to live in and show off to others.