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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • History is nice but someone has to pay the bills

  • Years ago I used to write a column called Klemp’s Comments. At the time it drew many comments and much conversation.


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  • Years ago I used to write a column called Klemp’s Comments. At the time it drew many comments and much conversation. Throughout the years people have asked me to continue the articles and I have been given the opportunity to do so. I have been asked to keep them to 450 words and this will be done.  
    The first article will be about preserving our past which was written by Mary Ann Brown on June 15. Mary Ann has a great idea, but I want to modify it a little. I have many memories about the library, but memories do not pay the taxes the city is trying to use for other things; like sidewalks, streets, fire, police, etc.  How about my old high school and Abeles Field and the beautiful downtown area that people are struggling to return to its original condition. I could go on and on, but sometimes we do have to look at money. Too many governments are going bankrupt.  
     
    I have a suggestion.  Let’s deed it to the Browns or someone else with restrictions, and they can fix it up and it remains off of the tax rolls for five to 10 years. The restrictions are easy.  If the property ever goes into foreclosure then the city gets it back. The city has done this on other properties. I was just getting ready to stop writing when I found the Browns a helper.  
     
    In Thursdays’ paper of June 28, Rebecca Trotter expressed her concern over the site. I appreciate the concern, but that does not resolve the expense of the long-term payouts for the upkeep of history.  The thing for these two ladies to do is to get together before the next meeting of the city’s discussion on the Carnegie Building and come up with other ideas on how to preserve the building.  I look at old buildings like the people I knew back in the ‘40s and ‘50s and on down the line as my history that I hate to lose, but we do die.  
     
    In the last two months I have lost six pieces of history and each one of them makes me sad. In the case of buildings if they cannot be modernized for today’s use, then they must die also. Please do not think I am against saving history, but sometime we have to figure out other ways to pay the bills. The first thing to do is meet with the City and the Preservation Committee and look at the many requirements and expenses just to make it usable. And if possible, handicapped accessible.  
    Good luck
     
    Louis Klemp is a Leavenworth resident and former Leavenworth County commissioner.
     
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