An outspoken opponent of a proposed ATV park in Graham has garnered the support of at least one of Graham's five city council members, Councilman Spencer Street.
Nearby property owner Linda Gonzales has come before Graham's City Council to speak out against the park on more than one occasion, but her latest move came July 30 when she mailed a letter to each member of the council reiterating her concerns.
The letter includes photographs of a similar park built in Childress that Gonzales feels illustrate why the park is not a good fit for Graham. Funding for the park, proposed for the west side of Salt Creek just outside of Graham, would come from a $235,500 grant awarded to the city on May 22 by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Currently, an environmental study of the area along Sewer Plant Road and a preliminary trail design are being produced. The city plans to hold a public hearing on the proposed park once those are completed. This hearing will take place before city aldermen will decide whether to build the park or give the grant money back.
“Even though Childress has received a substantial amount of federal money sent out through TPWD, it still obviously lacks the funds to set up a tasteful park,” the letter states. “Please decline the grant money. Graham is too beautiful, stately, ethical and aesthetically pleasing to be brought down by the proposed ATV/OHV Park and all the unsavory strings attached to it.”
Gonzales said her anxiety started with a fear her property, which borders the land slated for the park, would drop in value if the park is built. Those fears have now grown to include the park's proximity to Graham and the city's new Salt Creek Park, which will be just across the creek. Street agrees with many of Gonzales' concerns.
“I think she has a valid concern,” Street said. “On a personal note, I don't see that as a benefit to the town. My Guess is that, in my opinion, if you start naming all the things that can be added to the city or even on its edges, I think an ATV park is way down the list of benefits.”
Read the entire story in Wednesday's Graham Leader.