Editor: In the early ’90s the only consistent revenue Purcellville had was from taxes and utility bills. We were struggling to pay employees. Our town was in a consent decree with Virginia to fix our wastewater treatment plant. We didn’t have the meals tax and we didn’t have $10 million being handed to us from the federal government.
Businesses were closing on 21st Street, as the quaint clothing stores, craft stores, auto part stores and boutiques were no longer in demand or expanding to new locations with parking.
Bruce Brownell was just starting to renovate the mill for Magnolias and Terry’s Auto Body was in the process of relocating to Hirst Road. These two projects provided the opportunity to purchase the land where 21st Street parking now exists.
Rob Lohr, then the town manager, kept promoting how much this parking lot would be needed in the future revitalization of 21st Street. Without parking we could not get tourists, shoppers and diners downtown. Many times that land looked inviting to sell as we struggled to pay our debts and build reserves back up.
Without the 21st Street parking lot we would not be able to have the events, support businesses and tourists as we can today. We had the backing of our taxpayers and now they can see their investment.
It took years to see how and why that land was needed. It may not take that long to recognize the impact to Fireman’s Field’s future if the Town Council sells the Pullen House.
I urge the council not to be “penny wise and a pound foolish.” Plan for our future. Do not sell the Pullen House.
Beverly Chiasson, Purcellville