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|Vidalia's new project for future growth|
Individuals who have an interest in seeing Vidalia take another step forward in creating a first-class community in which to live and work should pay attention to a project the city and Recreational District No. 3 have on the drawing board.
At issue is a plan to build a new recreational complex on some 50 acres of land near Wal Mart off the Ferriday/Vidalia highway.
Recently, Recreational District No. 3 bought 20 acres of land near Wal Mart, while the city purchased 30 acres adjoining the property. The city will lease the 30 acres it bought to the recreational district.
Officials with the recreational district and the city would like to develop the property as a site for a top-notch recreational complex, which would include baseball and softball fields, volley ball courts and soccer fields, too. There also exist ample space on the 50-acre site to build a swimming pool and other outlets for recreational activities that the general public could use.
It should be noted that the proposed recreational complex would be solely owned and operated by Recreational District No. 3, or the taxpayers. The city simply would serve in a support role.
While some rumblings have surfaced over the amount of money the recreational district and the city paid for the property near Wal Mart, the public should be reminded that nothing in life is free, including the construction of a multi-dimensional recreational complex that the public could use for years to come.
Though the public would have access to the proposed recreational complex at no cost for admission per se, it still cost money to buy the property to house the proposed recreational complex. It also will cost a good bit of money to build the complex in question.
Luckily for the taxpayers in the Vidalia area, the recreational district has some $1.3 million on hand. That money was accumulated over time thanks, in part, to a small property tax businesses and residents of Vidalia and beyond pay annually. The tax currently generates some $250,000 annually for the recreational district, though it could be argued within reason that proceeds from the tax will rise in time as the Vidalia area continues to grow.
We are not suggesting the recreational district exhaust all of its resources in tackling the construction of a recreational complex.
The recreational district, though, possesses what we would describe as seed money to fund the construction of the proposed recreational complex.
We realize, tough, that there are residents in the community who believe the city and the recreational district should steer off getting into the construction business. For the lack of a better phrase in describing their thinking, those concerned citizens are short-sighted.
Therefore we invite those concerned citizens to reflect upon the events that led to State Farm Insurance Co.'s decision to shutter its corporate presence in Ouachita Parish, costing the Ouachita Parish community more than 1,000 good-paying jobs.
When State Farm unveiled its reasons for closing its corporate offices in Monroe, one of those reasons concerned "quality of life" issues. In other words, State Farm did not feel the "quality of life" its employees had their disposal was adequate.
Though it could be improved, the state of affairs concerning public education in the Vidalia area is a plus for the community.
Thus the construction of a first-class recreational complex in Vidalia would certainly improve the "quality of life" for area residents, meaning an improved "quality of life" in the Vidalia area would serve as a drawing card in helping convince prospective employers to locate here.
It's win-win proposition for everyone.
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