I Don’t Get It

I am still not clear on the problem of recreation spending in this county. In the newspaper we read that “Fairfield County will seek an engineering firm or similar firm well versed in recreation projects and related matters to serve as a consultant to oversee projects in each district.” Will those consulting fees come from the $3.5 million (per district)? What will be legitimate spending from the $3.5 million? Land purchases? Land preparation and grading? Equipment? Brick-and-mortar buildings? Staffing? Maintenance of building grounds? Are these items part of the total amount or will they add to the burden on the taxpayers of Fairfield County? When the total amount is spent, will there be continual requisition for more money to complete the projects similar to the situation at Drawdy Park? Will competent professional recreation consultants make the decisions? Of great importance: Who will track to progress made toward accomplishing the comprehensive plan? Who will be accountable for reviewing part or the entire plan as it progresses and how often will it be reviewed?

I would submit the idea of one large sports complex where interstate and intrastate tournaments could also be held. The county has the room, natural resources, transportation potential with I-77 and other roadways. In addition to fulfilling the need for constituent recreation, this complex would have the option to charge entrance fees and generate lodging and food income. This plan is economic development and would provide local jobs.

I am distressed that all this money is being discussed for the recreational needs of residents, but also to be considered is the physical health of residents of all ages. If Council feels an interest in their playtime they certainly should feel an interest in their health. Presently, over 300 indigent clients are served per month in the emergency room at Fairfield Memorial Hospital. No one is ever turned away for the lack of payment but Council only allows $942,673 a year for that. Doesn’t seem fair.

Betty Gutschlag


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