Letter: City's plans for improvement at Central Park miss the mark
To the editor,
I would like to comment on what some local newspapers are touting. The Town Pages seems to have a tad more common sense. Give us a break. Do taxpayers really want to pay for a geyser and gazebo in Rosemount's Central Park? Whose town is this? City hall's?
Just wondering if the developer-of-somebody else's property, Wally Johnson, is behind all this continued use of taxpayer dollars for his own gain. He paid the city of Rosemount one thin dollar for all the land his monstrous building fronting Highway 3 is sitting on. Could it be that now he wants Rosemount citizens to provide him with a free park for his downtown residents so he doesn't have to pay for one himself?
City hallers must be counting on Rosemount's residents to be forgetful. Remember what Mayor Droste et al said when planning their new monstrosity on Highway 3? "We" need a gathering place. When "we" said "no," they went against popular opinion and forced it on us. Am I the only one having trouble picturing that massive concrete monstrosity as a "gathering place?" I use alternate routes so I don't pass by its ugliness. No chance I'll gather there. Do I trust city hall with their latest plans for a gathering place? No way.
Central Park should be for residents' use. There are other ways to improve Central Park than the city's plans to merely showcase city hall. I have some resident-friendly alternatives to the city's proposals. Opening up the bathrooms in Central Park for public use would be nice. Expand and improve Central Park to the north and east -- instead of along Highway 3 and 145th Street. Relocate the garages and ice rinks. I have no problem with internal bike and walking trails.
Look at results of the April 3 Town Pages unscientific poll: Do you like the city's plans for updating Central Park? Their web site tallied votes even after newspaper publication. As usual, few voted. Yet, the web site reported 68.97 percent of 29 votes cast were No. Over two-thirds voted No to the city's plans.
If the city put forth another referendum asking Rosemount taxpayers to fund this Central Park project according to the plan they are loudly hinting at, what do you think the result would be? A "yes" vote would mean tossing away two more downtown businesses, plus exposing gas fumes, constant high traffic and roaring noise ... to a community park. Here lies a potentially unsafe, unhealthy situation. Currently, Central Park is a gathering place that is what it should be: quiet and serene, sheltered from the highway by two local long-standing businesses who pay commercial taxes to offset our resident taxes. Those two successful businesses are working for us.
Who cares that the Community Development Agency is handing City Hall "free" planning grant money. Which leads to another question, who put up the required matching $10,000? Rosemount taxpayers? By the way, who funds the CDA? Rosemount taxpayers do.