Archive for Thursday, June 15, 2006

When it comes to pool, we told you so

June 15, 2006

We couldn't help but laugh last week when approached by two separate, well-respected and genuinely involved Baldwin City residents regarding "doing something" about a long-standing problem.

That problem? Well, it starts with P and it does involve pool ... right here in River City.

But, it's not actually the pool that's the problem. It's the lack of parking around it that has a lot of people hot and bothered. Cool down. Take a dip in the pool. Relax, it's summer and the living is supposed to be easy.

Why do we laugh? We really don't think it's funny. We laugh because we can honestly say "we told you so." In the mid 1990s, the big question in town was whether to rebuild the aged pool where it was or take the offer of free land from Baker University to build the pool north of where the college's soccer field is now. That's north of what is now Baldwin High School's soccer field, the infamous ball fields and the schools.

What was proposed was North Park. The pool would be the anchor, but the 40 acres of land would be developed into ball fields, possibly a community center, walking paths, green space, etc., etc. Wow, that would have been nice.

For those newcomers that know nothing of North Park, there were two public votes taken on the question. It was a hotly contested race and pitted neighbor against neighbor. The North Park measure passed twice, barely. But, the city council chose to disregard the people's majority vote and built the new pool where the old one was.

It's a great pool. It's too bad the vision of the council couldn't see how Baldwin would grow. They were worried that if the pool was up north, children would have to cross the highway to get there. Well, they're doing that now where it's at.

Or, their parents take them there, which is what would have happened had North Park become reality.

We're guessing there would have been ample parking there.

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