Pardon me while I rant.
The people of Erie seem to know how to enjoy Frontier Park pretty well. On a nice day, there may be cross country and track teams of all ages running. There are bunches of kids on the playgrounds, tennis players, walkers, joggers, and other nature lovers. In the winter, people go sledding there. It seems like a nice outdoor park. In fact, it is so nice that often it is hard to find parking.
So naturally, someone wants to put a building there. Not just a few restrooms, which would be a big improvement on the port-a-potties that are there now. Apparently, we also need a classroom, because we can’t just enjoy the outdoors; we have to be “educated” about them, and if kids are having a field trip at the park, they may need to go inside due to bad weather. The building will also have restrooms and some office space for the L.E.A.F. (Lake Erie Arboretum Foundation).
The $ 1,000,000, as usual, is from state grants, so everyone can claim it is “free” money, and no one has to worry too hard about whether the building is needed, or is just on someone’s wish list.
Does the state really have so much excess money that it should spend another $1 million on something like this? I thought we had a budget crisis at just about every level of national, state, and local government. A million here, a million there, and pretty soon you have a substantial amount of money. Is it just possible that we should wait until tax revenues are meeting expenses before spending money on things we have done perfectly well without for the last few decades?
Also, is it really a good idea to build an office in the middle of the park? There is plenty of empty office space in Erie, and it is located in already existing buildings where parking is already available. On a snowy or icy winter day, the office in the park will be difficult to get to.
Finally, why can’t we just have an outdoor park where people do stuff outside? Why does there have to be an “educational center?” Wouldn’t it be better for people to enjoy the outdoors, rather than think they have to learn about it all the time?