Imagine that you are back in school and your teacher assigns a paper. Which tool would you prefer to use to write it, a typewriter or a word processor? Sure you could use a typewriter, but it is much more difficult and time consuming and you have a higher chance of making time consuming errors. This is the analogy used by some local businessmen to explain the changes taking place at RCBI.
In a recent letter to the editor, the CEO of RCBI explained that the changes were not substantial and should not cause access problems. However in a letter addressed to local businesses, they apologize for the inconvenience caused by removing the machines to Bridgeport. This is a standard courtesy. However they go on to offer a reduced rate for the next twelve months as compensation. This reflects an acknowledgment that removal of the machines will cause problems for the businesses that need them.
In some cases the new machines have reduced size capacity. In others, the difference lies in ease of use. The machines being removed are computerized. This means that different components can change very easily and that it is capable of much more complicated work. What they will now use does not have nearly the same capabilities or ease of use for the small and moderate sized business market.
It is entirely likely that removing these machines from Rocket Center represents a business type decision. Officials have to come periodically from Marshall University to oversee the operation. Gas prices have forced cutbacks to alot of people and organizations. If this, or something like it is the case, RCBI should just state those facts. However they should not privately apologize to local businessmen for imposing a severe inconvenience, but tell the public that all is well.
Will this affect the daily lives of most people in the region? Probably not. However in the long term, access to these kinds of facilities represented a marketing asset for attracting business to the Potomac Highlands. One answer could be to try and interest West Virginia University in taking over the operation of these machines in its own facilities in Keyser. With an emphasis on marketing the services, Potomac State (a branch campus of WVU) might be able to make them profitable where Marshall University's RCBI could not.