Let’s Not

By Dave Buffington

We get letters with complaints.

We get letters with compliments.

And occasionally, we get letters with honest-to-goodness suggestions; ideas worth thinking about …

It is my opinion that the Borough of Hummelstown should consider looking into establishing an urgent care walk-in center.

I have noticed many vacant buildings in the area of Main Street, from Quarry Road to Hersheypark Drive. The purpose of an urgent care center is to provide care for non-life-threatening sufferings and complaints. This care center may see patients without an appointment, who can not get one with their family physician at that time. This also relieves the ambulance from unnecessary calls and visits to the ER.

Gilbert E. Condor Sr.

In fact, that’s a great idea. Hummelstown could use an urgent care center. So could Palmyra.

And while we’re at it, Hershey could use a downtown hardware store. Not a big box, but a mom-and-pop with nuts and bolts.

Oh, and wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone revived the old Moose movie theater in downtown E-town? You could have dinner at the Duck, catch the latest blockbuster and then grab a gelato at Rita’s. That would be a great night.

But would it be a great business?

Are you willing to back it with your own money?

That’s what I thought.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard a lot of grumbling about the demise of the old Warner Motors property in downtown Hummelstown. The longtime landmark is now being demolished to make way for a CVS store.

Yes, a CVS store.

Hey, it’s a big improvement over an empty lot, and I’m sure the folks on the east side of town will appreciate having any kind of store within walking distance, but, well, it has all the sex appeal of, well, another bank branch.

So why isn’t something cool going in that spot? A farmers’ market? Upscale apartments? A bowling alley?

Well, the land alone sold for $1.5 million. Add a bunch more just to tear down the old building. And a whole bunch more to build a new building. And then more for equipment and advertising and staff and training.

Not many people are willing to spend that kind of money on a business that may or may not succeed.

So let’s get the government involved. Let’s get the borough, the township, the county, the state involved. Let’s form a private-public partnership to get the businesses we really want.

Let’s not.

Government isn’t a business. It’s built to provide services that are inherently unprofitable (deliver the mail, jail the criminals, protect the borders). That’s why successful business executives tend to be unsuccessful government executives. (See Tom Wolf and Donald Trump.)

If a business makes sense, someone will invest in it … as Debbie and I did when we bought this newspaper 10 years ago.

And if a business doesn’t make sense, I don’t want the government using my money to invest in it.

Just give my money back to me. I’ll figure out what to do with it.

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