George Hresko: Park users, speak up
August 21, 2013
Thank you for your front-page article in Tuesday's paper detailing the placement of the proposed police station.
At the Aug. 6 Steamboat Springs City Council meeting, a new $8.9 million police station was the major item included in the six-year capital investment plan. Then, in an Aug.13 letter, Police Chief Joel Rae invited those of us who live around the park to discuss placing the proposed building in Rita Valentine Park during meetings Tuesday and Sept. 5.
Putting aside for now questions that will arise as to the need for a police station, its design and so forth, I am writing so that all interested parties know of the city's plan to use a portion of our valued park land, adjacent to residences, for a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week operating facility. In the time I have been a resident here, there has been a regular stream of proposals to use Rita Valentine Park, in spite of the fact that there has been and continues to be overwhelming community desire to keep the park just as it is, open space park land. All surveys of which I am aware put preservation of open space at the top of the list for our community. Additionally, God's other creatures, which bed, forage and pass through, cannot make their wishes known but should be acknowledged.
So, I am asking that those who use the park regularly for their dogs, those who land their hot air balloons in the park, those who ski, sled and snowshoe there and those who simply walk in it or gaze upon it attend the meetings and voice their opinions on the wisdom of using a precious piece of open space for a facility that would be better sited elsewhere. If we do this, then we will be able to permanently keep this park safe as the community wishes.