Dear editor,

A new city park in Preston Idaho. Do we really need it, way past the airport?

There are plans for a new park in Preston City. It is to be located outside city limits past the airport on the highway where the archery range is. The reason given by city leaders: we need walking trails and a new soccer field. Sounds good, but is it practical? If it is truly needed, does it make sense to have it that far outside of Preston?

The total cost has not been accurately estimated since the park will need substantial amount of materials for all the improvements. And then there is the labor cost of having city/county employees devoting time to a park far away from the city, instead of attending to needed duties in the community.

The city and the county are exchanging land for labor, but it still puts the burden on the tax payers. Current agreement calls for the county to provide $105,000 in labor/materials. Do we really need to allocate those resources to a far away park that may or may not be used for walking trails? How many people will really drive all the way out there just to walk? It will have soccer fields. Does Preston have soccer teams or clubs that need additional soccer fields?

Could the additional expenses be better utilized for improving the water system?

The utility cost for water, sewer etc has increased to the point that some elderly people on fixed incomes are struggling. Do walking trails far outside of Preston take priority over the basic needs of our families?

The water system needs updating and I strongly feel that the funds need to be prioritized in a better way. The utility cost of water, sewer and garbage bill for Preston City has gone up to pay off a debt. In a meeting on September it was said "this debt is almost paid off" but I was told utility cost can not go back down because the funds are needed for updating the water system.

Why are we putting in a park then? This is not a necessity. It is an extra. Will they use irrigation or city water for the park? And how will that impact the current system?

Basic needs should be taken care of first, before spending money on extras.


Rebecca Pihlajisto

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