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Enough is enough on new amenities

Posted: October 5, 2011 - 5:22pm  |  Updated: October 11, 2011 - 3:25pm

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, is it too much for us to ask, again, that Columbia County commissioners ease up just a bit on coming up with new recreation projects and amenities for county parks?

We've had our say already about the Evans Town Center Park, a truly beautiful project that also is a shining example of how too much money in the hands of politicians can put kids in a candy store to shame (particularly when you consider the kids, at least, are spending their own money).

That project is nearing completion, with a couple of whiz-bang dedication events coming up soon: The park's unveiling and dedication with a free concert Oct. 22, and the much-anticipated concert Oct. 28 by Lady Antebellum.

Next up on the construction agenda will be the as-yet-unnamed park the county will share with the Columbia County school system, behind the Lakeside schools complex.

While Evans Town Center Park primarily is built for entertainment and passive recreation, the new park will be designed for active recreation with ball fields and tennis courts.

But even before the first shovel of dirt is turned, there's already a call for commissioners to add to their portion of the facility an off-road bicycle racing track.

Fortunately, commissioners this week were expected to balk at the idea, at the very least postponing it until it could get more study. Good: The price tag for such a project could add several hundred thousand dollars to the cost of the park, and right now more spending on items of limited public interest just seems like a really bad idea.

Evans Town Center Park truly is a jewel, and will provide plenty of reasons for Columbia County residents to invite friends and relatives to visit, play and take in shows. It's something we'll all be able to brag about for many years to come.

But enough is enough. That jewel is polished; it's time to renew the focus on needs, not shiny wants.

A broken record might be annoying, but at least one hopes the repetition gets attention.

 

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