Then they struck.
“I agree with you, Mr. Mayor, about having a vision,” Emerson resident Steve Fessler said.”But a 325-foot flashing neon tower is not what we had in mind. It’s full of light, noise and skyline pollution, and these are bad precedents to be setting.”
Pallone interrupted to argue that the height of the structure was only 250 feet
“Whether it’s 325 feet or 250, doesn’t really matter with me,” Fessler said. “That’s way above the limits that we have set in this community. I don’t want a 250-foot sign or a 325-foot sign. The vision we have as residents may be different than the vision the developers have.”
Fessler added the Polercoaster was not part of the original plan.
“The original plan called for a family-friendly, sports-oriented complex,” he said. “A roller coaster is not a part of that complex. It attracts a different class of people and totally different clientele.”
Four other speakers addressed the council, each wary of unwelcome changes in quality of life the Polercoaster may bring.
“I think a lot of people don’t really understand how tall this thing is,” Emerson resident Cynthia Wainscott read from a letter from Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Bruce Sutter. “You will be able to see Kennesaw Mountain from the top. We want our city to be a nice, quiet place to live. We do not want to be known as the city with the highest roller coaster.”
“From the very first meeting, I have been enthusiastic about LakePoint,” Wainscott said, now speaking for herself. “I think they had the right idea. They talked about kids coming here to play sports and the facilities here would be for the parents and grandparents.
“They didn’t mention anything at all about trying to draw people off I-75. If you look at the original plat, it shows a water park where the polercoaster is now planned. Drawing people off the freeway to come to a carnival environment to have a really good time doesn’t sound like a sports complex to me.”
Wainscott said she didn’t want something brought into the Etowah Valley that will mar its beauty and tranquility.
Emerson zoning and planning chairman Fran Twelkemeier approached the council and said too many variances would have to be allowed to accommodate the attraction.
“We have worked through this information and decided that we recommend the Polercoaster not come to our city.“
The Emerson council decided to table any action until the next meeting on Monday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. at city hall.