Letter: Concerns brought up over possible trail route

To the editor:

We would like to thank county commissioner Diana Biddle for taking a few minutes out of her busy schedule to personally answer a few questions and concerns we have about Phase 3 of the Salt Creek Trail.

Commissioner Biddle said she was not aware of the fact that we own property on the proposed site for the construction/placement of one of the bridges to be erected. Furthermore, she was not aware that as property owners of proposed land usage we were never contacted by trail committee members for the possible use of our land.

A larger concern that we have is one of safety for the boys and girls who use Eagle Park sports fields. What logical reason would there be to have a trail go through school-owned property? To what end does it serve to disrupt the current semistate-level cross-country course in order to provide a walking/bike trail into Brown County State Park?

The safer solution would be to have Phase 3 of the trail run parallel to State Road 46 and the Eagle Park property fence line. Why is this safer? This path would lessen the chance of sexual predators being on school property, a noncustodial parent stealing a child, a stranger enticing a child to help them find their way, vandalism on the facilities, or someone maliciously interfering with a sporting event.

Mrs. Biddle stated that Phase 3 of the trail would run parallel to the soccer field and the cross-country course. Do you, as a parent, grandparent or guardian, really want a stranger running beside your cross-country student runner or soccer player? Do you want to find a homeless person camped out in the restrooms located in close proximity to the trail? As a taxpayer, do you want to incur unnecessary expenses due to the lack of foresight for the real possibilities of liabilities occurring on school property?

According to Mrs. Biddle, the Phase 3 trail footprint is not set in stone. We would propose that Phase 3 stay off of school property and leave Eagle Park sports facilities for student athletics only.

If you too have concerns or questions, you should contact the county commissioners, Diana Biddle, David Anderson and Joe Wray, and your school board members, Judy Hardwick, Stephanie Kritzer, Carol Bowden, Steve Miller Jr. and Tom Jackson.

Gary and Sheila Oliver, residents and taxpayers of Brown County

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