We congratulate: The Prathers’ generous donation

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We love to compliment generosity. In a world too often littered with complaint and hate and costly fences around ugly air conditioners, it is, well, a breath of fresh air when someone takes a step for the greater good.

With that in mind today we congratulate the giving spirit of Don and Greta Prather, who saw an opportunity to help the downtown Shelbyville city center project by purchasing and donating a ramshackle house on an adjacent property.

The Prathers’ purchase and presentation, following similar action by Citizens Union Bank, adds another small piece to the efforts of Leon Mooneyhan and others for the facility they have divined for the block surrounded by Main, Washington and 8th and 9th streets as a site for a convention and theater complex to serve Shelby Countians and expand our civic opportunities.

As we always say about this project – one that we fervently believe is important for the growth of downtown Shelbyville and for all our citizens – there is much work to be done and many contributions to be made.

Mr. and Mrs. Prather simply saw their chance to contribute in a magnanimous way. The cynics among you will say that there are tax advantages for the purchase-and-donation to the City of Shelbyville, which will own the property in escrow for the potential complex’s construction, and that is inarguable. But that’s fair.

In this case, the Prathers’ action potentially saved the complex effort more than can be measured. Because, as they pointed out, if this property had been purchased at foreclosure auction by an outside entity that had designs on developing it, the cost to repurchase could have been prohibitive in the future.

So, no, we don’t have any problem with any benefit Mr. and Mrs. Prather derive from this donation, because we believe the public is being well-served and tax dollars potentially well-saved.

And we are evermore glad to see this project take another significant if small step toward accomplishment.