To the editor,
I applaud the 4-B board membersí efforts to fund a water recreational facility, but both thumbs down for this proposed water park. Developers have pushed this project to the forefront and are pressuring for a rushed decision. 4-B projects are for the benefit of the people, not developers.
First, the location requires all users and staff to have transportation and travel through the most dangerous, congested traffic area in the county. Such a facility would better serve our citizens if it were located within walking or biking distances from residential neighborhoods. How are kids going to get there in the summer, when their parents are working? I ask the board to explore other possible locations. Many cities locate such facilities in floodplains, which we have acres of vacant floodplain land available.
For several years the city has been interested in purchasing Oakdale Park and this might be an option to consider. Renovation of Oakdale along with additional water features would accomplish two major goals - preserving one of our historic landmarks, and meeting the recreational needs of the community. I am confident that this could be accomplished for far less than 4.2 million.
Equally important is the exorbitant expense. Every surrounding community has a water park. Stephenville, with 4.5 times more people is spending a bit over 3 million on a water park. Spending 4.2 million for a community and county of our size is irresponsible and not proportionate to our tax base. How is the 4-B tax going to retire this debt, and have any funds left for other projects? And the real burden of the maintenance and operation of the facility could exceed future revenue. Our taxes, and not just the 4-B sales tax, will no doubt be involved eventually in the maintenance of the facility and retiring the huge debt.
Yes, we need a public recreational facility. The just-released results from the Comprehensive Planning Survey identified that most responding wanted more pedestrian/trail recreational places. More input from our youth is needed for the 4-B board to develop a facility where young and old alike can enjoy a variety of recreational opportunities that include swimming, exercise classes, hiking, water play area, skateboarding, etc.
Clearly this water park will not best serve the citizens of Glen Rose.
Please decline this proposed water park and pursue a more centrally located and appropriate water/recreational facility.