Letter: Finish parks and trails first

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Dear Editor:

For many years residents of Wellington have been waiting for the Town to begin development of the Buffalo Creek Town Park, a portion of Wellington Parks and Trails Master Plan.

This spring, Town Trustees came to the Buffalo Creek HOA meeting and offered $50,000 of development to that park and said that all Parks and Trails development would most likely be on hold for 5 or more years as the Town now wished to change their focus to the Thimmig property they had just purchased for a recreation center, charter school, some fields and a new town hall.

Recreation centers are very expensive to build, operate and maintain. In the 2008 Master Plan, the town shows more than $8 million required just to build the center. Divide this by the 2,186 homes in town and it alone becomes a commitment of $3,500 each (less possible grant monies). Rec centers are not often profitable operations and could require continued financial support.

As president of Buffalo Creek HOA, I represent 434 homes. In a recent survey most people here want to see grass and trees replace our weed infested park as the top priority. (A 10-year wish for many.) The proposed trail system would run from southern Wellington, through all the parks, out to and around Smith Lake. We believe that completion of parks and trails would be the “Best Bang for the Buck” and should be the focus.

We agree with “Citizens for Parks and Trails” that the town should be pressed to finish parks and trails first and then look toward the more expensive projects.

Tim Singewald