Erie MetroParks has cast its eye on the 1.68 acre Wakefield home and property on the Vermilion River for $1.8 million.
The Western Reserve Land Conservancy and MetroParks are seeking grants for $900,000 each from the Clean Ohio Green Space Program and the federal Coastal and Estuarine Land Conversation Program. MetroParks agreed to earmark $15,000 in local funds to the project. Sounds as if it's all free again; but it is our state and federal tax dollars funding those grants and it doesn't sound as if these state and federal programs are overseeing these funds too well. McDowell encouraged Ohio voters to renew the Clean Ohio bond, which will be on the ballot in November. Maybe not - what about all the blighted areas in Ohio which could be cleaned up and made usable again?
Mention was made that this purchase would be a chance to save rare plants and animals; this was after the comment that it would make a great public picnic and fishing site. MetroParks already control a good part of the county. If the parcel was sold to a private citizen I'm sure life would go on and the flora and fauna would flourish -- as would the tax rolls. This is the Vermilion Lagoons area, not a potential strip mall site.
Governor Strickland met with Human Service personnel before he was elected and pledged to make the work they do one of his priorities. Sadly this was just talk. The governor cut jobs and money for public services, closed state hospitals where they were desperately needed. Now he has cut another 4.7 percent from the state budget, this time passing these cuts along to county governments that can least afford them. Better to close down a few of these grant programs and redirect these funds toward greater needs.