PICKENS—As the city of Pickens prepares to implement beautification programs like the Facade Grant, the trees that line Main Street have become a subject of much debate amongst downtown business owners.
The Façade Grant Program is intended to supply financial support for businesses to improve the facades of their buildings, but the business owners are saying that the trees lining Main Street hide their storefronts and signage from potential shoppers.
“I plan on applying for the Facade Grant for the front of Michael’s, but the problem I have with it is there are trees out in the front of my business that block both of my signs,” said owner of Michael’s restaurant Amy Barrett. “I’m kind of leery as to why they’re putting up this money to upgrade our businesses when they can’t be seen from the road anyway.”
It is the commercial fixtures along Main Street voicing their displeasure with the trees.
Brock’s Owner Glenn Brock says, “The trees in front of the business are blocking my sign. I had a customer not long ago who wanted to know where we were located and I said we were directly across from the courthouse, he drove and drove, but had to ask somebody where we were located.”
Town and Country Florist Owner Shelia Barton says “I need a new sign, mine is probably 40 years old, but I don’t want to spend money on a sign that no one can see.”
The city of Pickens recently held a string of public input meetings to discuss the city’s vision planning.
A team of experts from a variety of fields conducted the meetings and addressed the issue of the trees along Main Street.
“We are aware of the issue with the trees on Main Street. We had the team of experts make recommendations to us, and when we get the final report from them, we will hold a committee meeting and make a decision about the trees,” said City Administrator Katherine Brackett. “They will have recommendations on which trees should be removed and how they should be pruned. “
The city will await a final report from the team of experts and then make an assessment based on that report.
“One final decision will be made based on the recommendations of professionals,” said Brackett.