Gatewood Park’s future

Pulaski’s Town Council is on a glide path to effectively selling
Gatewood Park under the cloak of privatization. Their discussion of putting in zip lines, opening up the park for hunters, and other such revenue producers to make the park profitable have missed the point that Gatewood is already a great park. All of these would make Gatewood less, not more desirable. For 57 years we have had Gatewood. Now we may lose it.

It is obvious that parks do not make money; nor or are they expense free; nor are they conducive to being altered to increase revenue. They are, however, the vital spur that makes the town attractive and makes economic development possible.

No contract with a private party will preserve Gatewood’s attributes or guarantee control of the quality of the town’s water supply into the indefinite future. Private parties change over time, as do their methods. Only town ownership and full legal rights provide continuity. Like any asset, this is lost when sold.

Town council seems to have no problem with announcing $240,000 to put in a pointless raised-bed vegetable garden downtown on 1st Street NE, or in purchasing a building on West Main from a purported development corporation. But the less expensive and more valuable Gatewood has become their target.

The attack on Gatewood seems to be designed to dump expenses so that town council can build their love child – a wildly expensive public safety building. Its $17.3 million cost, including financing, is fully seven times all town real estate tax revenue – hardly a prudent or fiscally conservative move or one that is conducive to economic growth.

Gatewood is one of the town’s great resources – a source of true distinction. When New York City privatizes Central Park, perhaps then we should privatize. Until then, no.

Ike Jeanes

Pulaski

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