Letter to the editor

I am in favor of a Sculpture Garden Park at 249 North Main Street in Oregon. My husband and I have lived in Oregon for over 35 years, and we have raised our family here.

We live near the downtown area in a historic 100+-year-old neighborhood. We are taxpayers who have contributed to this village and who have seen it grow.

Now that the library is not going on Main Street, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to use this 2.7 acre vacant lot for the greater good.

This land is currently owned by the village and its best use is for a public park. The village purchased this land even before there was talk of putting the library there.

After soil tests were performed, it was determined that this property was not conducive to construction due to drainage problems, compacted soil, extensive tree roots, and relocating utility lines. Just getting the land ready for construction would have cost over $600,000. And the construction would have worsened existing flooding in the surrounding neighborhood.

Why would we even consider selling this land to the highest bidder for construction use? There have been at least three failed construction attempts here. Let’s learn from our mistakes and not repeat the problems of the past.

Instead, we can turn this land into a beautiful public space with gardens, historic trees, sculptures, walking paths, and a kid’s play area. This would be good for the entire community, the surrounding neighborhood, and businesses.

It would provide a relaxing area for residents, while drawing park visitors to local establishments. This would be a unique park where I, and others, could take our grandchildren to experience both nature and art.

A select few people have remarked that the supporters of this park should purchase the property. Why? Other parks in Oregon are publicly owned by the village. Why should this park be any different?

Most people in Oregon, including myself, are not millionaires who can afford to purchase parkland. Individuals did not purchase the Jaycee Park or raise $4 million to cut down trees and expand playing fields. That was provided by the village.

The time has come for our community to unite in creating this incredible downtown park, which will benefit all.

Cindy Helmer


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