In my opinion, the creation of a park at The Cabins at China Lake property should be a self-supporting project. The town’s purchase of this property would be poor financial and property management.

This proposal is not based on necessity, and therefore the land should be bought and the park designed to function without the use of taxpayer-based funding sources.

China residents not interested in the park should not be forced to pay taxes for this discretionary project. The property should be bought entirely through fundraising efforts, and the park’s full operating costs should be funded either by memberships or admission fees.

State subsidies to cities and towns are being dramatically reduced year after year. This trend is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. Purchasing this property — a luxury item — would be poor financial management given these economic times. The purchase price of $575,000 is only the initial cost. The loan interest, loss of tax revenue and costs for insurance and maintenance of the property also must be considered.

Purchasing this property for public use with no long-term plan is poor property management. Questions that need to be answered before purchase include about the work needed to make the property a park, who will provide the needed ongoing maintenance, who will police the property and the environmental impact to China Lake and Lakeview Drive. The former Three Mile Pond rest area on Route 3 is an example of what happens to a property that is not properly maintained.

These financial and property management issues should be resolved before this project moves forward. I encourage a no vote on this proposal.

Wendy M. WaltzChina

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