Resident against county buying land for DuBay Park
To the Editor:
It is with extreme gratification to reflect upon the collective efforts over the last 12 months to thwart Portage County’s illogical and fiscally irresponsible efforts to massively expand the size of the DuBay County Park.
As you may recall, there was an effort to purchase 80 acres of land without a detailed plan for its use or the cost of its respective development. Thank you to all those who attended a meeting, corresponded via letter or email, openly expressed an opinion or passed an official board resolution in opposition. We must remain vigilant.
The Portage County Park Commission is once again in the process of presenting its Capital Improvement Plan. With no real surprise, the respective DuBay Park/Campground “Project 61-16-02 (Town of Eau Pleine Land Acquisition)” remains on its agenda. Without surprise, there remains no specific official detailed board action taken in the last year relative to this expansion or facility alteration initiative. Because nothing specific is once again memorized in board minutes, their shenanigans and hypocrisy may once ensue.
Rumors are routinely heard about a less expensive land purchase and a plan to replace the public picnic area with additional campsites. The official updated notes to the Capital Improvement Project are “updated Scope, $.” More campsites? Let it be known that there have been no public outreach efforts to apprise the public as Portage County Parks Superintendent Gary Speckmann and Portage County Executive Patty Dreier openly pledged at an Eau Pleine Town Board meeting Aug. 12, 2015, with nearly 50 people in attendance.
Some county officials apparently believe replacing the waterfront picnic area, which is accessible and usable by every county resident, should be replaced by six additional campsites, likely usable by only two Portage County campers (six rumored additional sites multiplied by 30 percent factual park usage by county residents per park statistics equals 1.8 Portage County campers), six months out of the year is in the best interest to all the county’s citizenry. Ironically, the picnic area that officials apparently want to convert into campsites was initially camping and changed to the present picnic facility.
Once again, absolutely nothing relative to this rumored proposal adds up, period. There is definitely no lack of inconsistencies and contradictions. Good sound plans are generally a slam dunk and publicly supported when public officials are truthful, transparent and act appropriately in the public’s best interest. It’s disheartening that all of these values continue to be blatantly ignored.
As was publicly suggested nearly a year ago, tell us your plan, show us the facts, show us the figures, act responsible and provide a cost/benefit analysis. Be truthful and transparent. Disclose everything on the county’s website. Why all the continued silence?