Will Horsepasture River plant ruin Cashiers' quality of life?

Letter to the Editor

Editor:

I understand that “Time Marches On,” however, I, for one, wish it could at least slow down. I am referring to your article where where it is stated that, “The added sewer capacity capabilities the plant will offer are expected to significantly stimulate growth in the Cashiers area.”

My focus is on the stimulation of growth in the Cashiers area. What type of growth? What controls will exist? How will it impact the Village atmosphere so many of us love? Are we trying to become another Franklin, Hendersonville, Brevard -- with large stores, car dealerships and the like?

I first came to Cashiers in 1948. I was 6 years old. My family purchased property on Lake Glenville at the end of what is now called Fenley Forest Trail (named after my great aunt Faye Fenley, a pioneer). The family built a very modest, two-bedroom structure in 1949.

In 2000 my wife and I rebuilt the family home. It was destroyed by lightning in 2011. Not having the heart to rebuild, but never wanting to leave Cashiers, we bought another home closer to town.

I remember a time without telephones, televisions, lap tops, iPhones, iPads and newspapers, and nothing but quiet solitude and beauty. There were mountain springs from which you could drink without fear of contamination.

Amazingly, we survived without these modern contraptions. We talked, we hiked, we read, and we enjoyed the serene beauty of the mountains. There was no traffic light at the crossroads -- just a traffic circle with the Wade Hampton sign in the center. If you wanted groceries you went to Highlands, Sylva or Brevard or, alternatively, F.A. Holden’s small family grocery on Norton Road. The Exxon station (originally ESSO) was the only gas station.

I will always remember the quaint little village in which I spent my summers and love it with all my heart as it is a part of our family and always will be. There are many wonderful things that have occurred during my 71 years in Cashiers; however, the thought of the stimulation of growth through the construction of the Horsepasture River Wastewater Treatment and Collection Plant worries me.

Will the Horsepasture River be at risk for pollution through a malfunction? Is the “growth” going to destroy the charm and livability of Cashiers? Will the traffic become unbearable? Will we now see large box stores throughout the area? Once you open the door to the “growth,” you can never arrest it.

Rather than blindly heralding the stimulation of growth, let’s all take a deep breath and think about how this growth might adversely impact the future of our quiet little Village on the Green. What we now have is fine. Ingles is perhaps the best all-purpose grocery store around. We don’t need more growth for the sake of growth. And don’t justify it by saying it will create more tax dollars.

Rutledge R. (Rut) Liles

Jacksonville, Florida and Cashiers

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