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Not a Penny for Pinellas for ballfields

The Wilde Trust has signed a contract to sell the 871-acre Wilde well field to Pinellas County for $17.4-million. Using 100 acres for ballfields is generating opposition.

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times

The Wilde Trust has signed a contract to sell the 871-acre Wilde well field to Pinellas County for $17.4-million. Using 100 acres for ballfields is generating opposition.

Re: More land saved from developers | editorial, Oct. 11

Not a Penny for ballfields

I read in disgust that our county commissioners are proposing to designate 100 acres of land, which should be made part of the Brooker Creek Preserve, to be used not just for ballfields, but for a huge sports complex.

What's also disgusting is the unspoken plans for how these ballfields will be paid for.

The land, the preparation of the land and the costs of the sports complex development will be paid for with Penny for Pinellas sales tax. Afterward, the county will lease the new sports development to a private entity (East Lake Youth Sports Association, or ELYSA) for $1 a year for 30 years with intentions to eventually turn over the development to them.

That is not a bad deal for ELYSA, but it is a bad deal for taxpayers because ELYSA is located so far northeast that it is more conveniently located to Pasco and Hillsborough counties. Consequently, many of these county youth use this association but don't have to contribute toward the costs as do Pinellas County taxpayers. And because ELYSA can't get enough enrollment from Pinellas County youth, the group actively recruits from these counties.

Let's stop our commissioners from making a big mistake which will cost taxpayers millions, and let's stop them from destroying 100 acres of land that can serve as a natural refuge for people and wildlife.

Joel Orloff, Palm Harbor

Re: More land saved from developers | editorial, Oct. 11

Hiking trails are better fit for park

More land saved from developers, except the 100 acres that our county commissioners want to develop a sports complex on.

How much more unnatural can you get than a sports complex with its lights, traffic, noise, parking lots, concession stands, etc., alongside a peaceful preserve filled with wildlife?

What's the purpose of preserving land when surrounding wildlife can't live in peace?

If they must use the 100 acres, why don't our commissioners look along the lines of something that's more compatible with nature, such as what Hillsborough County is doing with its purchase of the Eldridge-Wilde well field: putting in picnic tables and hiking trails?

Violet Miller, Dunedin

Re: More land saved from developers | editorial, Oct. 11

Sports complex to harm preserve

How ironic the headline is — "More land saved from developers" — but not saved from our county commissioners, who want to develop a sports complex on 100 acres.

Don't our commissioners see the conflict in placing a 100-acre sports center amid the surrounding Brooker Creek Preserve?

The idea is to preserve land for wildlife, but the result will be that the sports complex will scare away wildlife with its noise and traffic.

If you must do something with the 100 acres, why not make it nature- and environment-friendly so all humans and wildlife can enjoy it? Isn't this why we're spending this kind of money to preserve land?

Crystal Giansiracusa, Palm Harbor

Sidewalk idea going nowhere

I have been writing to the Tarpon Springs city government since May to suggest something that would not only beautify the city, but make the city more enjoyable for people who use the city sidewalks.

I suggested an ordinance to clean up, maintain and protect the sidewalks. This would cost the city virtually nothing. It would not be costly to enforce. It would give the city some extra income.

This suggested ordinance has been in the hands of city government for more than four months, but the city has taken no action, either positive or negative. I received a call from the vice mayor with a promise of some action, but none was ever taken. There is one exception: Any time I wrote to the city clerk for information, I received immediate and courteous responses.

I realize I am a very old man. I guess they all figure I'll die someday soon. Then they can consider the matter closed.

Henry Berolzheimer, Tarpon Springs

>>your voice counts

You may submit a letter to the editor for possible publication through our Web site at www.tampabay.com/letters, or by faxing it to (727) 445-4119, or by mailing it to Letters, 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. You must include your name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length.

Not a Penny for Pinellas for ballfields 10/15/08 [Last modified: Friday, October 17, 2008 5:13pm]
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