Stewart’s expansion would improve the village

To the Editor:

I recall the days when my sister and I would ride our bikes down Main Street to the Penguin for an ice cream cone after dinner. I recall walking to Ron’s Service Station with my dad to pick up a car that we had dropped off for an oil change. I would go with my mother to Ketchum’s to wash our family’s car.

This is where I grew up, where my husband and I chose to make our home and raise our family. I regularly hear from people about how much they love Altamont when I tell them I live here with my entire family, my husband and daughter and my parents — whose home I can see from our back porch.

However, the debate around Stewart’s expansion — onto a piece of property that the company owns — has highlighted what the village has become, a place in need of some improvements.

When you drive into the village, you are greeted by a falling-down Crounse House; an empty lot, the former home of The Penguin; a village hall whose awning had been slowly collapsing (and only very recently was given a temporary fix); another empty lot where Ron’s Service center used to operate; and further up Main Street you will see a huge “For Lease” sign, advertising a space that used to be a Subway sandwich shop.

Look behind Ketchum’s — across the street from Stewart’s — and you will see yet another empty lot; the aftereffect of a fire.

For those against the Stewart’s expansion, I have to ask, why? Are we overflowing with cute shops and stores that an updated Stewart’s is not needed? Would an updated shop bring an unwanted flow of traffic into the village? The answer to these questions is no.

The Stewart’s expansion would do nothing but improve the only convenience store that we have in the village and make it a safe parking lot to maneuver. As a resident of this village, on and off, for the past 35 years, I fully support this expansion.

Like it or not, Stewart’s has stood the test of time, and if it is looking to improve the property, I am all for it.

And while we are at it, why not add a cell tower to the village? These improvements are only going to make living in this wonderful village more enticing.

Let’s keep this picturesque village what it is, but with some amenities that also make it more accommodating to the residents.

Kathryn Farry

Altamont

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