Letter to the editor from Judy Crystal of Byram
Our town bought a pig in a poke on Monday night. The RTM, meeting at Central Junior High, okayed the expenditure of more than nine and a half million dollars for what is called the “Byram Pool and Park Project”. There is no question that the Byram pool has been an embarrassment since 1975 when our town purchased the Rosenwald property and opened the family’s pool to the public. However, the manner in which the current project is proceeding is an even greater embarrassment.
In spite of funds allocated to development, there are no architectural or engineering drawings or an operational plan of the costs to maintain the pools.. The Junior League has promised to make a sizeable contribution – if they approve the plans. On Monday night their representative threatened to take their marbles and go home if the project was delayed until adequate research can be done. Some RTM members seemed to bow to the blackmail.
In the outline currently on the table, there will be a large pool, a kiddie pool and a splash pad, allowing for a total capacity of 310 This is quite an increase over the current 40! Only 30 additional parking spaces are proposed. I wonder what the sailors, tennis players, beachgoers, and are expected to do. No attention has been paid to the danger of street parking in the area.
It was pointed out that recent capital projects – think MISA and Nathaniel Witherell – have run an average of 37 percent over budget. We’re planning a budget of more than $9.5 MILLION (which includes the League’s promised but not yet actual capital campaign, think the Witherell project) for a fantasy. The footnote: our mill rate will be increased 2.75%! This is not “their” money. It is ours!