June 17, 2009
Building a sports complex in Burns Bottom is an awful idea. What happens when downtown needs to expand? Burns Bottom would be an ideal location of adding shops, apartments, restaurants, etc. to the downtown landscape. Six measly soccer/football fields would take away expansion needs from downtown, but at the same time, as the city of Columbus grows, the sportsplex will eventually need to also.
Burns Bottom does not allow that to happen. If they insist that it be built near downtown and based on it size, the Riverwalk area would be the better solution, even though it too is in a flood zone. It allows easy access to the downtown area, and the Corps site can be viewed from the highway. People driving through our city would be able to look and say "Wow! That is a nice facility!" I just want city council to sit and think before jumping to a conclusion. Even though I believe spending money in a flood plain is wasting it. There have got to be better options available.
My son, Hagan, who is currently 16, is also passionate about having a nice sportsplex, something like the one envisioned in 2000. It would give all kids in the area something fun and safe to do. He always complains about how boring this town is, and usually it ends in a late-night game of soccer at Cook fields. He told me that he would rather the council wait, and make a decision that was in the best interest of the citizens, as well as Columbus, than to jump to conclusions and waste millions. Even a 16-year-old can make better decisions than our city council at times.
Thank you for the continuous write-ups in the paper. I share those views and I want Columbus to excel. The Burns Bottom sportsplex would not be the way to do that.
Jim and Hagan Walker, Columbus