Having lived in Cornelius since 1991, I have really seen the town change.
I remember when we had to go to the post office to pick up our mail because mail was delivered only if your address was listed as being in Huntersville.
Catawba Avenue had so little traffic that at night, you could be the only car on the road. There was one movie theater in town, then two. And you didn't have to cross a major street to walk to the grocery store.
Even though there have been lots of changes over the years, most of them wonderful, I don't tend to notice these changes unless they affect me directly.
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I was thrilled over the widening of Catawba Avenue, but I must admit I still take the back roads to get anywhere. I love the mail delivery, but I miss seeing everyone at the old post office. I still miss the old Harris Teeter.
But when I drove into the Liverpool business section and saw the new sign at Liverpool and Catawba, I said "Oooooo" out loud, making everyone else in the car laugh at me. Actually I was so impressed with the new sign that it never occurred to me, until now, how ugly the old sign had been.
Doug Barrick, project manager for the town of Cornelius, explained the installation of the new sign. As part of the process of widening Catawba Avenue, Barrick said, the partners in the businesses at Liverpool agreed to donate land to the right-of-way, with the understanding that the town would reimburse the cost of any signage that was damaged or destroyed.
The right-of-way took up all the space where the old sign used to be, in front of the bank. Since the old sign was going to have to come down anyway - not only for the right-of-way but also for installation of the new traffic signals - the decision was made to get town officials together with people from the Liverpool business partnership to come up with a plan for a new sign.
The way the original agreement was written, Barrick said, the Liverpool business partners could have built whatever they wanted to. Even so, he said, they wanted to design something that set a positive precedent for all the future signs to come in Cornelius.
By the time this column prints, the sign should be complete, with external lighting, landscaping around the sign and flowers beneath. It wasn't completed when I wrote this column because of all the rain in the first half of the week.
Barrick ended by saying he "really appreciated everyone working with town (on the sign's design) to benefit the whole community." He also said the new sign was "really classy" and will set the tone for future signage in Cornelius. I think so, too.