Barter Theatre? Yes, please

To the Editor,

I have lived in Mount Airy my entire life. I spent my high school years cheering on the Granite Bears, I look forward to the Autumn Leaves festival each fall, and I love taking walks downtown and admiring the historic buildings that run up and down the one-way street. Mount Airy is my home and I often brag to others about how I live where the famous Andy Griffith once grew up.

Once I began to hear grumbling about the possibility of the Barter Theatre coming to Mount Airy, I was confused. I will be honest and admit that I had no idea what a Barter Theatre was, but after a quick Google search, I was on board. I could not understand why people were upset about bringing something to our community that will undoubtedly improve our downtown tenfold.

I do understand the concern some may have for the increase of property tax, which now seems to be avoidable:

“Thursday’s discussion indicated that this could be avoided through a 40-year financing plan offered through Surrey Bank and Trust involving a USDA community facilities loan.”

However, even if the property tax was unavoidable, I would still support the Barter Theatre, because I love Mount Airy and I love our downtown. In the last few years you can already see the difference made to improve tourist attraction in how many people come to Mount Airy for events such as the Budbreak and Food Truck Festivals. Speaking for myself, I am proud that our commissioners approved an agreement and that they continue to seek out new and innovative ways to improve our community.

Christan Bowman

Mount Airy