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Letter: Is athletic complex land really a gift?

To the editor,

Following the Rosemount Outdoor Athletic Complex opinions the last few weeks, I wonder if the gift of $1 million for the Flint Hills land is really a gift to taxpayers who will pay more than eight times that million-dollar amount for the complex, plus amenities, built with referendum funds. Gravel roads are the only access to that area at this time. Will taxpayers later on be asked for more money for road improvements?

During the Rosemount city hall open house in January, mayor Droste noted that baby boomers' kids have reached their peak, with attendance at district schools already starting to dip downward. He cited 70 percent of Burnsville residences do not have children in their homes. Demographics are definitely changing. This being the case, should Rosemount residents shell out bread-and-butter money during a near recession with the population of kids declining?

We understand that more sports fields could be utilized right now. How about coming up with a less expensive alternative to wait out the decline? It appears that in the not-too-distant future we will be fine with what we already have.

Last year, Farmington folks made their decision about high-buck spending for an athletic complex. They voted it down.

Regarding the arts and cultural center at the former St. Joseph's Church, there are other places to find the $1 million designated for that project, which is currently being combined with the $8.5 million to go along with the outdoor athletic complex referendum. One place to obtain free money would be to return the Ratzlaff property back to its owner in return for half-a-million dollars the city forced themselves to spend for that proceeding. This would be a great start for renovating this facility.

The smell issue at the Flint Hills proposed athletic complex location is not likely to go away. Even though the odor is perhaps not toxic to everyone, there is at times a very strong and obnoxious odor at that location. While Flint Hills is not necessarily the only source of the odor, the fact is that there is a definite odor. Will our kids and we adults really want to smell objectionable smells while trying hard to compete and to have fun?

Kathy Klonecky,