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Our opinion: Soccer park project off to a good start

 

 

The ball''s in play. The Lowndes County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to borrow an additional $1 million to cover costs for the new soccer complex and park at Burns Bottom, allowing work to get under way soon on the ambitious, $4 million project. 

 

In-kind work by the city has already begun. Burns Bottom was literally that a few weeks ago as the Columbus Fire Department conducted controlled burns of dilapidated houses in the way of the park, giving firefighters a little training time and clearing the land in the balance. 

 

The sprawling complex will be one of a kind in the area, including two professional-sized soccer fields with stadium seating. 

 

The vision for the complex includes more than soccer fields. Boardwalks and sidewalks will wind their way through Burns Bottom''s wooded areas. Future enhancements include a tie-in to the Riverwalk, pavilions, and a waterfall feature on Moore''s Creek, which cuts through the park. 

 

While the cost of the park came in at more than originally expected, and some of these enhancements won''t be included in the project''s first phase, we''re off to a good start. We have urged officials to look at every avenue to save money, but not at the expense of quality -- this is a unique project at the city''s front door, and one that will be enjoyed for generations to come. We need a Cadillac parked in our front driveway, not a Yugo. 

 

The supervisors and the City Council have funded some, but not all, of the park. Included are restrooms, but not the waterfall, pavilions and other amenities. In-kind services from Columbus Light and Water include steel light poles (not the original concrete) and less expensive wiring. 

 

We''re pleased with the cooperation between the city, county and Light and Water to find ways to save while keeping the park''s vision and quality intact. 

 

We do hope that as the economy improves, the project''s full potential can be realized. 

 

Quality isn''t cheap, but that''s what this park deserves. We thank supervisors and the city council for bringing this oft-stalled project this far. We hope they continue to keep their sights on this opportunity to build something truly unique and special downtown.

 

 

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Reader Comments

Article Comment zenreaper commented at 3/17/2011 5:25:00 PM:

Yeah, maybe we could park a TAURUS in front first, to see if anyone wants to DRIVE it, before we buy a luxury car?

 

Article Comment kat commented at 3/19/2011 7:43:00 PM:

How exciting that Columbus has the vision to build such a wonderful venue that visitors and future generations will enjoy long after the nay-sayers are dead and gone.This will bring thousands of young people and their parents to Columbus . They will eat in our restaurants, shop in our stores, sleep in our hotels and enjoy the beauty of our city!If you have never had a child that played soccer, then you have NO IDEA how much money is spent on the sport. Thank- you to those that have worked so hard on this project.

 

Article Comment zenreaper commented at 3/20/2011 12:35:00 AM:

"How exciting that Columbus has the vision to build such a wonderful venue that visitors and future generations will enjoy long after the nay-sayers are dead and gone."

Yeah, lets hope they enjoy it as long as we are PAYING off the MILLION dollars we had to borrow to BUILD it.

"This will bring thousands of young people and their parents to Columbus . They will eat in our restaurants, shop in our stores, sleep in our hotels and enjoy the beauty of our city!"

Who the heck takes their kid to a soccer tourney and goes SHOPPING?

 

Article Comment roscoe p. coltrain commented at 3/20/2011 6:11:00 AM:

Yeah, we're all going to be rich because we have a professional sized soccer complex. We all know how much profit there is in soccer. Far more profit to be had in a seasonal sport than say a large area where one might book events every weekend that would draw thousands into town. You're right, drawing people into town during soccer season would be better for the cash flow deal.

Yeah it's a Caddy alright, but just remember: even a Caddy can leak oil.

 

Article Comment kat commented at 3/20/2011 9:34:00 AM:

To zenreaper....Have you ever had a child that played soccer? have you ever traveled to another city to support their effort? if you had , you would know that games are NOT scheduled back to back. during the breaks, you SHOP, EAT, and RELAX IN YOUR HOTEL, waiting on the next game to begin. I don't really know what your parents did , but I have spents THOUSANDS for my children to be involved in organized sports. and I LOVED every minute of it!
so to your question " Who the heck takes their kid to a soccer tourney and goes SHOPPING?" EVERYBODY!

 

Article Comment zenreaper commented at 3/20/2011 11:22:00 AM:

Kat, matter of fact, I HAVE a child that PLAYS soccer. Played HELL finding a team for him around here, because there is simply no interest in it here. I have traveled EXTENSIVELY for MANY sports, and yes, you may have a gap, and you MIGHT by some groceries for a picnic lunch, etc, but your car is full of SOCCER GEAR and CLOTHING, you don't stroll down Main Street looking for MORE stuff to put in your car.

But all of that aside, I am not against the idea of a soccer complex. What I have a problem with is building a TAJ MAHAL like soccer complex, over shooting the budget by over a MILLION dollars before the first field is STARTED. What should have been done was to build a complex WITHIN the budgeted amount, see if it is successful, and use ALL those funds that will be generated from it to expand it.

 

Article Comment roscoe p. coltrain commented at 3/21/2011 6:03:00 AM:

I went to Walmart and bought a soccer ball. Will I be rich now?

 

Article Comment roscoe p. coltrain commented at 3/22/2011 3:38:00 AM:

Just to point out to you how the Dispatch manipulates public opinion:

Soccer park project off to a good start....

So a good start is when you are already over budget by a million dollars before you even shovel some dirt?

You folks will buy anything.

 

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