One of the Lake Area Improvement Corporation's big improvements this past year was the big new Madison sign on east Highway 34 (as if Prostrollos' great white buffalo wasn't welcome enough). The LAIC does love its banners and signs.
This sign isn't bad. Bold design, impressive rock work... and just wait until they switch on the waterfall this spring!
But an eager reader* points out a less welcome sign about the welcome sign. According to the LAIC newsletter (Sep-Oct 2008, p. 3), all that nice landscaping was done by Oakridge Nrusery and Landscaping from Brandon.
What, didn't Madison Nursery and Landscape pay its Chamber dues this year? What's next, the city buying vehicles from Billion Motors?
I'm sure someone can come up with a good reason the LAIC couldn't stay true to its mission and hire a local outfit to handle the landscaping for this non-essential, non-urgent project. Maybe everyone in Madison with a skidsteer and a shovel was busy that month (maybe that was the week my brother was tied up with the skidsteer putting in the sidewalk the city ordered).
I don't know everything about local economic development. But I do know that when I'm director of the LAIC (and I think I will apply when Dwaine Chapel retires), and I have all those local dollars to spend to promote Madison, I'll get double the impact from those dollars by paying local folks to do the work.
*And no, my eager reader does not work at Madison Nursery and Landscape.
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