Ledger Inquirer: Riverbank displays need repair badly

mowen@ledger-enquirer.comApril 13, 2014 

Along the top of the banks of the Chattahoochee River, near the southwest corner of the Synovus building, is a line of five informational displays giving passersby some interesting historical, environmental and even geographical information about this part of the river.

Well, some still do. But some are so weather-beaten and faded, the photos, illustrations and especially the text are nearly illegible. The plastic covers over the displays are cracked, discolored and heavily weathered.

One of the displays is all about the wildlife in this part of the river -- catfish, largemouth bass, shoal bass, turtles, cormorants and great blue heron. That display is the most readable.

Another tells of the geological phenomenon of the fall line, which is staring at you over the top of the display. It, too, is in OK but not great shape.

The one teaching of the Creek Indians might as well be about the Cleveland Indians, because you can't get much information from it.

The one about the cotton economy has two faded and ancient photos of the W.C. Bradley Co. and is barely readable.

The final one, concerning the dam (what dam?) and the powerhouses and their history is similarly useless.

Concerned Reader Mark reported this problem and said it's a shame because that's becoming such a popular place for people to gather and watch the antics on the river.

Due to a technical difficulty that I'll refer to only as "my boss," I had to write this over the weekend, so I figured I could catch up with Uptown Columbus CEO Richard Bishop at Market Days on Saturday morning to get the scoop on the displays. Sure enough, he was there, as always.

"Those belong to the city," Bishop said.

Great. I looked around but didn't see any high-ranking city types at Market Days, so I opted for the phone.

I hate to bother people on the weekend, but here at Inquirer Central, failure to publish is not an option.

So I decided to go straight to the top and call Mayor Teresa Tomlinson. I didn't feel so bad about calling her because she has those signs all over town that say, "Teresa Works" and they don't say, "except for weekends."

"If they're ours and they need sprucing up, we'll certainly do that," Tomlinson said. "I'll get with the city manager and we'll send somebody down there to look at them."

Thanks, now take the rest of the day off. I plan to.

Update

This is as much a clarification as an update. Some of my readers have been giving me way too much credit (which is to say "any") for the long-awaited work starting on the blighted Barngrover house on Cathryn Drive.

Yes, I'm one of more than a few L-E journalists who have written about it since 1993 or so, and the work happened on my watch. But it was a team of lawyers, not the least of which was City Attorney Clifton Fay, who finally got the gates unlocked and the ball rolling.

Seen anything that needs attention? Contact me at 706-571-8570 or mowen@ledger-enquirer.com.

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