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Vote ‘Yes’ to sell Sherman’s to the CAC

Growing up in Johnstown meant summers at “camp” and occasional trips to Sherman’s for rides, games, popcorn and my favorite, the beautiful carousel with its carved horses, some with real manes and tails.

Time passes and changes are inevitable: no longer living in Johnstown, relatives long gone, original “camp” replaced in the ’60s, Jet Skis replace the Sunday sailing regatta, and Sherman’s has declined. Now, a decline more than Sherman’s is obvious: empty stores, restaurants closed, Caroga’s continued optimistic program to “fight the blight’ is struggling. This past summer the only lively spot in the town center was the Arts Hub in the former Lakeaire/Outdoorsman. In fact, the Caroga Lake Music Festival has become the one bright and shining hope for the revival of the area. Accessible concerts here and there in the area including a wonderful series in the Chapel. This year the program began earlier than July with activities for all ages.

Now we learn that there are proposals that will mean the end of this wonderful gift. Why would anyone buy a condo, rent an apartment or seek out a boutique hotel when there is nothing to attract them to the area other than heavily used lakes: no stores, no restaurants, run down properties along the highway. Chances are they will continue to Speculator, Lake Pleasant or on to the northern lakes.

Voters now have a chance to be a part of a win-win solution for Sherman’s. Along with a lump sum, the Caroga Arts Collective will pay the taxes on the property. In addition, they will continue to attract business to the area with the programs that can continue to expand. Think positively. Perhaps CAC could coordinate programs with the schools, with continued CAC success, the former MyHil property might be developed to the benefit of the town. As the word spreads, businesses may return and thrive. Caroga is an important part of our life; we want it to thrive!

Otherwise, Sherman’s will fall into disrepair. Does the town have the funding to maintain it? Let’s support this creative solution to many needs and vote to sell Sherman’s to the CAC in line with the wishes of Attorney Abdella. It is a vote for a prosperous future.

CAROLYN BISHOP

Belmont, Mass.