There are very few things left in Columbia County untouched and uncontaminated by developers. The lake, the upper part of the Augusta Canal with Savannah Pavilion, and Patriots Park with its playing fields and gym are a few. The cheap strip malls or the required entertainment facilities or fast food joints are not there, just great scenery, biking paths, fresh air and a great work-out facility.
The county commissioners and developers have for years been drooling over the lake and land along the canal. What is now open to everyone would be sold to a few to enjoy, for a high price and profit to developers. Remember! This lake is in the top 10 fishing spots in the U.S.A.
Recently, I have wondered why all the misinformation about Patriots Park gym and thought it was probably because the Family Y was denied their deal in the Evans area. Remember, the Y is a private business and is operated as a private business.
That word "privatize" popped up this week, and it was used in connection with the Recreation Department. Imagine that! All of a sudden the gym is allegedly having trouble keeping track of money and memberships, and the best solution is to privatize the Recreation Department so that better control can be accomplished.
If you believe that, I know a bridge in Brooklyn that is for sale. And if you believe the audit, there is some swamp land in Florida for sale. This whole episode makes me wonder who is on which "board of directors," and why the push? But do not give anyone a chance to explain until we have completely smeared the Recreation Department and have the general, uninformed public believing the Columbia County commissioners.
Private gyms in the area, and that includes the Y, are not giving people the service they need. They are too expensive, rude and generally do not care whether patrons use the facility or not, just as long as they get the fee. Commissioners need to give the Recreation Department credit where it is due. Support one of the best programs in the county and allow it to do its job. Do not privatize Columbia County.
By the way, in reference to Barry Paschal's April 5 column on the topic: There are no "gym-rats" sneaking around anywhere at Patriots Park, but he might want to look for the "rats" in the Government Complex. They will look overweight and stressed from lack of exercise. They may also sneak around making special deals for special people.
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