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Letters to the Editor

McKinley Park needs your vote

I am on the McKinley Park Aquatic Center committee, and I also volunteer for the Parks and Recreation Board. I am writing to provide a little more information about the bond request from MPAC and Parks and Rec for two upcoming projects: The McKinley Park Aquatic Center and the McKinley Lake Restoration Project. The MPAC is a renovation and expansion of the current city pool. The Lake Project is the culmination of 20 years of work that the Parks and Rec Board has been doing to prepare McKinley Lake for this restoration. Dredging (removal of sediment from the lake) is only one piece of the Lake Project.

Dredging the lake resets the clock for the lake by removing 100 years’ worth of sediment accumulation. The existing sediment in the lake is laden with phosphorus. Recycled phosphorus in the water column can cause algae bloom. Dredging also creates water volume of the lake providing dilution of excess nutrients and algae blooms which limits the full use and enjoyment of the lake and threaten its existence as a recreational resource. In addition to dredging the lake to increase water quality, the project includes the construction of fishing jetties and/or docks, stabilization of eroded banks, near-shore deepening and a potential swimming beach.

We believe that the MPAC and the McKinley Lake Restoration Project will make McKinley Park a destination for recreation and thus bring an economic boost to the county. The MPAC, with its unique features and programming, will keep local residents from leaving to swim elsewhere, and it will draw patrons from surrounding communities. Those individuals, while in the area, will spend money at local shops, on local services, in local stores, restaurants, gas stations, hotels, parks, etc. Attracting visitors and keeping local money in town, will generate additional revenue within the city. We also believe the MPAC and McKinley Lake will serve as an attraction for individuals to relocate to our community. If we can increase traffic in the city and county, and local businesses and the community benefit from that traffic, it will be easier to draw new business opportunities to the area, increasing property tax base and employment opportunities. We believe the MPAC and McKinley Lake Restoration are just the beginning of a new economic future for our community.

MPAC has relied on grant funds and donations as one piece of our funding puzzle. We have not fallen short. Nor has the Lake Project fallen short. Bond funds are just one step in the process of securing the funding to complete both projects. The bond funds will allow both projects to apply for grants and additional funding. The estimated levy rate for each project is $1.00 per $1,000 of taxable value. This equates to approximately $57 increase per year on a $100,000 home.

MPAC and McKinley Lake Restoration are vital to the future growth of our community. Each project will be a separate item on the ballot in November and each item requires 60% approval to pass. We are asking the citizens of Creston to vote YES for these projects. For more information regarding the bond issue, please visit: https://www.thempac.org/bond-info or reach out to MPAC committee members or the Park and Rec board.

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