Letter: Back the skate park
When I talk to people about why I’ve been working with others to finally make a skate park in Turners Falls a reality, the word I use most often is “investment.” Our Town Meeting members will be voting Saturday on whether the town should allocate money for a skate park. Having been a Town Meeting member, I appreciate the obligation to make sure that the town is managing the budget responsibly with an eye to the future. I firmly believe that the cost to the town will be a very manageable amount for a few reasons:
First, the town will be obligated to provide funding only if it is awarded a state grant that will cover the majority of the cost; second, the total cost for the park will very likely be less than the original estimate; and third, the skate park committee is working very hard on an ongoing massive fundraising campaign that has already raised over $30,000.
Once it is built, it will generate revenue. The families that will be traveling here to use it will certainly be going out for lunch, buying ice cream and visiting the shops downtown. This isn’t a speculation — we have residents in Turners who regularly leave town with their kids to use the parks in other places.
The other way in which the skate park will be an investment for our town is even more important. It will be an investment in our youth, which will produce positive returns now and in the future.
Remember, the youth today will be adults in our community before we know it. If we show them now that they are valued members of the town, it is much more likely that they will grow up to be adults with the kind of values that a community needs to thrive.