Buying land to expand park size a bad investment
To the Editor:
Efforts by a handful of Portage County officials to acquire 80 acres of possible residential land for campground expansion are not only fiscally irresponsible, but puts us on top of a slippery slope. Their efforts are a prime example as to why people are rightfully fed up with government.
Fourteen years of government collaborations, led by Portage County, were expended to compile a Comprehensive Land Use Plan. Said plan is to serve as a guide and foster future development. It is an adopted and agreed upon plan of action that would be most beneficial to the county and the livelihoods of its citizens. It was a cumulative effort and agreement on behalf of government entities an officials.
Moreover, at least $504,000 of taxpayers’ money was spent, 30,000 surveys were sent, at least 36 public meetings and a variety of various public workshops were conducted.
All that being said, the 80-acre parcel of land that some county officials continue to pursue for park expansion, is proposed to be used as residential by the land-use plan.
The land-use plan efforts and taxpayer money were for a good and just cause, now is not the time to pip them out.
The Portage County Board of Park Commissioners’ proposed land acquisition puts us on top of a slippery slope. If government itself completely discards their own agreed upon collaborations, their actions will inevitably stir others to come forth and say “Well, you yourself ignored the will of the people and the comprehensive plan, why can’t I?”
At that point, who wants to invest in a community with no sense of direction? Conceivably, lovely family or property next door, campground or incinerator tomorrow.
Yes, the park is crowded on holidays, and improvements can be made. The Park Commission finally made an effort to cite their congestion concerns, though admittedly undocumented, through a “class project” presentation by Lauren Rupiper, parks assistant manager, Jan. 13.
It was suggested that many concerns could be alleviated in-house with current resources. The exception being the need for future campsites, which are limited by current acreage and usage. No formal action was taken to accept Rupiper’s presentation or any discussion by the board.
Disregarding the comprehensive plan and buying additional park land will not only further stress financial positions, it will set a precedent and potentially create havoc. It will potentially start us down that slippery slope.
The overall question that everyone needs to ask is, “exactly whose life is going to be improved by this land acquisition?” Surely not ours. Stay the course, don’t pip the plan.
Town of Eau Pleine