posted on February 01, 2008 11:23
Seven of eight members of the Raleigh City Council live south of the 440 Beltline. So, maybe, it’s no surprise their attention is less than riveted on North Raleigh.
For the first time in 30 years, the city was poised to build a gym and community center in North East Raleigh on city owned property. With infrastructure in place and site work done, the new community center was to be built and open within 18 months.
But instead of building the facility with the money from the parks bond, with was overwhelmingly supported in North Raleigh, the new council, at the urging of two of Mayor Meeker’s amigos, Rodger Koopman and Russ Stephenson, decided to ‘study the issue,’ which in the eternal language of politics means, ‘Let’s kill it without saying so.’ Why? Because Councilors Koopman and Stephenson seem to think our kids might enjoy a ‘nature park’ with trails and pastures more than a gym.
The landfill, they say, might be a better location for a gym. The landfill? It’s still collecting garbage.
Now, what North East Raleigh does have is lots of nature parks and greenways – over 3,000 acres of city-owned property in this part of town is dedicated for natural areas. What it doesn’t have is recreation facilities. The city limits stretch 7.5 miles north of Millbrook Exchange Park, and there is not a public athletic facility to be found. So, naturally, the City Council wants to add another 150 acres – for a new nature park at Horseshoe Farm Park – to protect wild turkeys and the owls. They seem to think young people will prefer studying butterflies in their natural setting to basketball, football, and baseball.
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