Keep public park out of private deal

Fellow citizens, neighbors and users of the park at Lake Tye, Monroe is fast-tracking a proposal that will dramatically change the park forever! The city intends to replace the jewel of a park we’ve grown to love with a privately operated, for profit, wakeboard park. Access and use of the lake that we have enjoyed for more than 15 years will be destroyed! Allowing the city to revoke our access rights to the lake, to a private operator with a 25-year lease, is a severe violation of the public trust.

The design includes the installation of several steel towers more than 30 feet high, connected by a cable system (similar to a chair lift) around the lake and a 2,500-square-foot operations, sales and rental building near the skate deck. These structures will create an eyesore, block views and cause death and injury to wildlife. The majority of the lake would be off-limits to the public.

Even though it’s facing unprecedented budget shortfalls, the city would pay the cost to bring utilities to the site, estimated to cost between $60,000 and $100,000. The developer anticipates over 20,000 users per year and several major tournaments, yet there is no plan for additional parking. Historically, nearby neighborhoods have been overrun by events at the park. Boaters, fishers and swimmers trying to reach the opposite end of the lake will be limited to an 80-foot-wide strip of water along the western edge. Environmental impacts have been ignored.

By definition, public parks must forever remain public, preserved by government for the public. Lake Tye is a natural treasure, to be enjoyed by residents and guests, and preserved as a pristine oasis for future generations. Will we, the taxpayers, stand by while our children’s and grandchildren’s legacy is sold, bartered or given away? We hope not. We urge you to contact our City Council members and voice your objection. Public input will be received at the next council meeting, at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Douglas and Marci Knight

Monroe

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