City Government Project Becomes Major Bollix
Souls in search of help
The all too familiar courthouse habitue.
"While affluent cities have to contend with pigeons, street vendors and mimes," quipped one city official, "we have winos".
Local merchants and business began to complain that the winos sleeping in the doorways were soiling their door mats and turning away potential business dollars.
This doorway known by the winos as "The Esplanade" was a favorite resting spot after consuming their beverages.
"We like the pretty colors and it's strategically located halfway between the Salvation Army soup kitchen and the convenience store that stocks our favorite beverages. Plus, the handouts are good here," stated one of the regulars to the area.
A reprint from the local newspaper shows one of the few man and wife residents celebrating a five dollar handout.
The City Takes Action
Armed with a huge state and federal grant, city planners complete Phase 1 of Gastonia Reborn, the much touted low cost housing and court house renovation project. "We spent a lot of money and time to design this to allow high density living areas for the city's homeless. We feel that on a cold night this could house hundreds. And we have eliminated the risk of fire by burning it down before we renovated," crowed a city planner.
"We call it 'Little Beirut'," remarked a local business executive. "It looks more like a demolition project that renovation." City planners were quick to point out that a forward thinking project of this magnitude could not possibly be appreciated by some of the narrow thinking and penny pinching citizens of the area. "They said the same thing about many great projects that were ahead of their times," the planner remarked.
Ribbon Cutting Canceled
In a stunning revelation, the city announced that while millions had been spent on the project, there were several influential local businesses who had not had their turn at the trough. "We are humiliated and regret this oversight," stated a city planner. After an emergency closed door meeting so typical of their neighboring city Charlotte, a new plan was announced.
"We have discovered compelling evidence that our housing plan is not in the best interest of those it was built to serve," a city spokesperson declared. "The city wants to show it's support of our president's policy on physical fitness and we have modified our Gastonia Reborn project to reflect this thinking. New grant money has been obtained to construct a swimming pool at the site. Construction has already begun."
The Olympic size pool begins to take shape. A local construction company that was not able to participate in the original project was tapped for this job.
Shortly after this photo was taken, rumors began to circulate that financial irregularities were causing huge cost overruns and the grants had been exhausted before the pool could be completed. An unsubstantiated but persistent rumor indicated that local businesses were pressing to reopen access to their parking lots.
Gastonia Reborn scrapped
City government today announced that a search for funding to complete the project had been obtained from the U.S. Department of the Interior. Following the requirements of the grant, the city has spent weeks filing the pool construction with soil and planting the area in grass.
"The Department of the Interior has a little used fund that is intended to reintroduce the American Bison. We are setting aside this area as a nature preserve dedicated to allowing our children and their children to experience the thrill of viewing what the plains indians were able to see, great herds of bison," related the thrilled city planner. "As for the homeless, they are no worse off that they were before."
A note from the Editor
Despite your many letters and calls, we at the Gaston Federal Clarion feel no need to change our name or logo. We feel that the long relationship with our readers will not be served by confusing them with a change just to follow a current trend. You can sleep content in the knowledge that we at the Clarion are focused on the news, not a new name.