Letter: Private funds, not taxes, should be used for park improvements

To the editor:

Do you want Shawano property taxes to increase? If not, then vote no on the April 4 referendum.

People already have to work more, so they hardly have time to enjoy the parks we have. Most people in Shawano are on a fixed income. The city wants to borrow $1.85 million to improve city parks.

The yearly budget for the park and rec department is $1,054,590. This amounts to about $100 for each man, woman and child. Borrowing and spending the referendum amount would mean about an additional $200 for each man, woman and child. As usual, the people paying for this would be the approximately 4,000 property owners.

Also, the city has already spent $200,000 to satisfy the heirs of Smalley Park (former hospital property).

Every school and park in Shawano has wonderful playgrounds and great equipment. There are tennis courts, soccer and football fields. There are soccer fields near Pick ‘n Save. These facilities are only used for a very short time and not daily. Most of the time when I have gone by, they were not in use. The day care centers and many churches have beautiful playgrounds also.

I live next to a park, and I don’t see the park or playgrounds used that much.

The plan is for a splash pad. This is like running through sprinklers. Which home does not have a sprinkler? Most towns that have these splash pads use them from mid-June to Labor Day. They use a lot of water. Would the use of this much extra water make a difference in our water tower? Pressure?

There are lots of valves, switches and possibly timers used, which are not problem-free, so I wonder what the repair cost might be. I was told one big problem is children riding their bikes on the pad.

I would suggest that the money come from private sources and not be added to the property tax. The people who want this should be happy to raise the money.

There are plans at Franklin Park for a fountain and a shell stage and walkways. There are sidewalks around that park, and I don’t think there is enough room to make walkways. I believe the fountain would be a problem, also. The shell stage is not going to draw the people; it is the music or programs you offer.

Elli Kohls,