ViewPoint: Safety over recreation

October 26, 2007

We've said it before, leaders in our area's fastest growing county need to get serious about increasing revenue to provide vital services that are suffering. 

Lee County Commissioners must find ways to come up with money to hire more firefighters and fill other job vacancies, but they need to make wise decisions.

Commissioner Dennis Roland recently suggested selling the county-owned Grand Island Golf Course to bring in more money. 

We commend him for trying to come up with a money-generating idea.  But the commission decided not to rush into a decision. They gave the golf course managers until next July to prove they could get Grand Island on sound financial footing so it wouldn't be a drain on the county. 

The club is a recreational asset for the area, and its managers have made progress, but let's be honest, what's more important, golf for a few hundred, or services for thousands?

The location of Grand Island is perfectly situated for upscale shopping and comercial development, at the intersection of Nottingham and Ledo Road.

It must be clear to everyone, the millions raised by developing this property and the resulting sales tax revenue, far outweigh, losing one of the county's prime recreation outlets...

County leaders should do their duty, and make this decision on the golf course's future.  In the meantime they need to continue to work to find other revenue streams so that the people of Lee County get the fire protection and other services they deserve.