DeFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (WMBB) — Residents of DeFuniak Springs have mixed opinions on a new street mural in the heart of downtown.
The mural spells out “DeFuniak Springs” in big, bright yellow letters across a block of Baldwin Avenue.
There are hundreds of comments about the mural on Facebook, with users calling the addition “just plain ugly” and “a waste of taxpayer’s money.”
“It’s a joke,” resident Vincent Elio said. “I mean there are countless places here in town that need to be repaved. I mean some of the main roads haven’t been repaved in 10, 20 years probably, maybe longer.”
“After seeing some of the Facebook comments and fielding the phone calls, we just felt like there was enough pushback with the folks here in DeFuniak Springs that we wanted to say hold up,” DeFuniak Springs Tree and Beautification Board Chair Kim Wennerberg said. “This could potentially change the face of our downtown and felt like it might be worth a second look and to get some more public input.”
However, others think the mural could be a good thing.
Bruce Naylor has worked on Baldwin Avenue for over 30 years and said traffic moves way too quickly down the road.
“I am hoping that the artwork will slow the traffic down,” Naylor said. “Make Baldwin Avenue feel a little tighter, cause people to slow down and really take a look at the beauty of downtown DeFuniak Springs.”
A visitor said she loved the new addition to the downtown landscape.
“I love coming to small towns since I live in Atlanta, and I just think this area is so charming, and I think it adds charm to the city, and anything you can do to beautify a city, I am all for,” tourist Katherine Bennett said.
After a meeting Monday night, the DeFuniak Springs City Council voted unanimously to pause the project for 60 days.
The DeFuniak Springs Tree and Beautification Board is putting together a survey to get public feedback on the project to help determine how to move forward.