The Leader headline “‘Central Park’ on golf course estimated at $5.25 million” on June 21 was terribly misleading. While the pre-grant development cost of the project is …
The Leader headline “‘Central Park’ on golf course estimated at $5.25 million” on June 21 was terribly misleading. While the pre-grant development cost of the project is technically correct, the city would most likely be able to fund the park through 35 percent state matching grants, which brings the total development cost to $1.84 million over 21 years, or $87,500/year. Compare this to the restored golf course option, which is not eligible for state grants and would cost the city $1.36 million over 10 years, or $136,000/year.
Another line in the article (“most of the options could be done by grant request”) seems intentionally crafted to hide the fact that the restored golf course option isn’t eligible for such requests. Given that the author could have made this distinction with the same amount of words, I can’t help but wonder if this newspaper has chosen golf over fair and accurate reporting.
Regarding costs, there are other important factors to consider: operations and maintenance costs, current lease terms (including subsidies) vs. a potential new lease agreement, etc.
The point is not that the alternative options are cheaper in the long run. They may not be. But that reporting by this paper should be accurate, complete and, whenever possible, unbiased. Between this article and the utter lack of reporting ahead of the prior open house, I am quickly losing confidence in the Leader to cover this important story accurately or fairly.
Lastly, if readers haven’t already, please visit cityofpt.us/envision to take the third and final survey regarding the future of this property. It just takes a few minutes and will help city council vote on the matter on July 17.
Gabe Van Lelyveld