New London will keep Wilson Street, but honor Jack Wilson
By TRISHA PHELPS
Mt. Pleasant News
NEW LONDON — After several years of the 100 blocks of Wilson Street in New London being unofficially named Jack Wilson Drive, the New London City Council figured out a way to honor the late Jack Wilson and not cause residents to have to change their addresses.
The late Jack Wilson was a teacher and coach at New London for many years, and since the street in front of the school is named Wilson Street after Wilson died, signs were put up to honor the teacher by renaming the two blocks of Wilson Street. The official street name was never changed, but the Wilson Street signs had been replaced with Jack Wilson Drive signs.
The council members agreed that putting Wilson Street signs under the Jack Wilson Drive signs would be the best way to handle the situation.
“Would it cause concern with ambulances or stuff like that (to officially change the name)?” asked council member Kirk Miller.
“I don’t think it will,” responded Council member Greg Thu.
“I don’t even think we have that many houses on there,” noted Mayor Ron Sadler.
“It is already unofficially Jack Wilson Drive, and has been now for a long time. There are still issues with mail,” said Thu.
“All of those people are going to have to change their addresses,” said city clerk Kasi Howard.
“Can anyone remember why, I mean I know why it was re-named Jack Wilson Drive, but can anyone remember why it wasn’t officially changed back then?” asked council member Mark Hempen.
“Nothing other than a proclamation was made,” said Howard.
“Another option would be to put up Wilson Street signs on the opposite side…” said Thu.
“…And then they could still use Wilson Street as their address,” finished Howard. “I don’t think it is mail that is the issue. I think it is delivers. I think most people get their mail at a P.O. (post office) box.”
“People would have to change everything that they already have mailed to them. Credit cards, bank accounts, magazines, bank statements,” said Hempen.
“That is a lot to ask,” said Howard.
“I understand that the town wants to honor Jack, but is there another way we can do it?” asked Thu.
“It seems like the simplest thing for everyone…” started Miller.
“…is to put another sign right below that says Wilson Street,” finished Thu. “That way no one would have to change their addresses and it would still honorarily be Jack Wilson Drive.”
“They probably even still have Wilson Street signs the we could just put right back up,” said council member Dan Berner.
“There is no actual action on it (changing the name to Jack Wilson Drive) because we just discussed it, but I don’t see this being an issue,” said Thu.
“If we are just talking about putting up signs, we can just let the public works guys handle it,” said Berner.
The council also:
• Approved a tax abatement for 412 East Wilson Street for interior remodeling and roof work.
• Approved making a donation of $1,300 to help sponsor the annual Holiday Stroll.