Normally in this column, I talk about national sports or the Arizona Diamondbacks. This time, however, I want to talk about something closer to home. I want to talk about the situation with City Park.
You may have heard the proposal to cancel the Town of Parker’s lease on the park and use the money that had been spent on the park to operate and maintain a new pool. On June 1, Karla Davis made her case to the Parker Town Council that the park should remain open. She noted many people use the park and its facilities.
The problem here is both sides are right. The Town could clearly use a new public pool, and City Park is in bad shape. At the same time, a lot of people use City Park.
We’re not talking small change when it comes to City Park. The Town currently spends about $70,000 per year on it. The restrooms were vandalized earlier this year. A 2017 estimate said it would take $1 million to $2 million to get the park where it needed to be. Rebuilding the skate park will cost $200,000 to $500,000.
This should not be about sacrificing one for the other. It should be a question of what can we afford and how can we pay for it. The Town only has so much money to spend.
This situation calls for all the stakeholders in the community to become involved and become part of the discussion. These stakeholders include not just Parker Little League, Davis’s softball league, and the Town. They should include the Colorado River Indian Tribes as well as the schools and local businesses. New ideas are needed here.
The Parker Town Council should schedule some work sessions on this matter to hash out some plans. They should invite all the stakeholders and give them a chance to be heard. Once everyone has some input, perhaps an action plan can be worked out.
It’s clear there are no easy answers here. However, making decisions like these are what the Council Members were elected for.
It’s also clear some compromises and concessions will need to be made here. Whatever the outcome, I hope it’s something we can all live with.
As I said before, both sides are right. Clearly, the town needs a public pool for swim lessons and recreational swimming. At the same time, we need the recreational facilities like those at City Park. I hope an amicable agreement can be reached.
I’d hate to see this become one of those situations where people who care deeply about this town are going at each other. If that happens, there can be no good outcome, no matter what’s decided.