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Largo residents hope city doesn't close John R. Bonner Park

They'd heard that the city might close one of their favorite places, and they wanted to let city commissioners know it would be a mistake.

They like to walk their dogs at John R. Bonner Park. They like to fish there. They like to launch their kayaks at the park, which overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway.

Several residents have written City Hall. About 10 others showed up at a City Commission meeting last week to voice their concerns.

"People that have children live around Bonner Park and their children need a place to play other than their own back yard," a young girl named Charlene Judges told commissioners.

A woman who rides a scooter to get around said she visits the park nearly every day that it doesn't rain.

"Bonner is a great place where I can get to the water," Sylvia Jordan said.

And Dan LaSpesa, who lives near the park entrance, said he sees hundreds of people, mostly walkers, enter the park each day.

"It would just destroy our neighborhood to lose that facility," he said.

City staff has proposed closing the park in southwest Largo as one of a number of cuts to trim $1 million from next year's Recreation, Parks and Arts Department budget.

Mayor Pat Gerard reminded residents that closing the park is just a proposal now. Commissioners will talk about the matter during budget discussions.

"I appreciate your input," she said. "But no decisions have been made yet."

fast facts

Want to weigh in?

City Commissioners will talk about the park closure and other budget proposals during discussions of next year's budget in August and September. Residents can voice their concerns during citizen comment at any regular City Commission meeting. The next city meeting will be at 6 p.m. July 21 at City Hall, 201 Highland Ave. Commissioners can also be contacted at

Largo residents hope city doesn't close John R. Bonner Park 07/11/09 [Last modified: Saturday, July 11, 2009 11:46am]
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