Letter to the Editor

Tax renewal and Common Pleas

I am writing in support of the Capital Improvements Sales Tax renewal on the Aug. 6 ballot in the City of Cape Girardeau, Missouri. As vice-chair and long-time member of the Cape Girardeau Historic Preservation Commission I have seen the value of utilizing historic buildings in new development projects.

The Common Pleas Courthouse is one of Cape Girardeau's most iconic historical structures. It has been at the center of civic life in Cape Girardeau for 165 years. Over the years it has been used for a multitude of functions -- almost all related to serving the citizens of our community. It only makes sense to me, that the City of Cape Girardeau's offices make it their new home. In addition to the Common Pleas Courthouse being saved, this also provides a future for the at-risk Carnegie Library Annex adjacent to it.

Carnegie Libraries provided Americans with access to a vast amount of information and opened their imaginations. Many still serve as civic centers in their communities or have been given new life. I believe utilizing the Carnegie Library Annex as part of the Capital Improvement Plan gives this structure a new, yet similar purpose.

I do not consider parking to be an issue. By locating several Customer Service offices to locations across the city, the need for parking from a purely customer service standpoint is diminished, but customer experience is increased.

I hope that my fellow residents will vote in favor of the CIST renewal on Aug. 6.

Alyssa Phares, Cape Girardeau