October 10, 2012 | LXXII, No. 28

Park idea raises concerns, gets nixed

Word that Electric City was going to develop a park along the waterfront of Banks Lake brought a number of opposing letters to the city’s planning commission meeting last Friday.

Commission members were as surprised as city officials and acted quickly to put the idea to rest.

The planning commission instructed City Clerk Jackie Perman to correspond with the letter writing residents and reassure them that there was no plan to put a park in the area. City officials were quick to sign on to the letter.

“We are having a hard time financing the upkeep of North Dam Park, why would we want to build another park,” one planning commission member stated.

The proposed park lies off Sunny Drive and is in front of a number of properties that are along the lake.

The park idea was fostered by former city council member Birdie Hensley, who told planning commission members that the idea originated in a brief discussion of the city council a number of years ago.

In one letter to the planning commission, Kary and Pam Byam and Jack Hilson, stated: “There are no restroom facilities, which would cause major pollution problems, and how would you control campfires?”

James and Mary Jane Bailey wrote: “Some of the lake banks are eroding and should be stabilized without removing the few access places and destroying the beaches. A public park should not be developed between the houses in Electric City and the lake because there is limited access and many of the parks in the Grand Coulee Dam area are under used and costly to maintain.”

Donna Kreiter, another resident in the area stated in her letter: “No walkway, no park, no picnic area, no camping, no campfires.”

Larry and Marsha Christian informed commission members: “... the soil there is the same clay that is everywhere you look around town, it is on a steep slope, most of the shoreline has a high bank and no beach.” They emphasized that there could be serious erosion problems.

And Myrna Francis wrote that there are “bank swallows” there and they are protected.

It all points out how quick residents were to respond to the idea and how quick the city was to quash it.

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