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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Letter to the Editor

Urging voters look at sportsplex deal


We have all heard the expression, “the devil is in the details.” Now and until Nov. 8, Worcester County residents are going to be asked a ballot question.

Question A will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot as well as the mail-in ballots people are starting to receive.

Question A titled, “Local Referendum by Petition Bond Issuance for Design and Construction Costs of a Worcester County Sports Complex.”

It will read, “The purpose of this question is to determine whether the County Commissioners may finance a portion of the costs of designing and constructing a Worcester County Sports Complex by issuing a bond.”  Then, for or against.

Doesn’t this sound so reasonable? Why not some will ask, we need a sports complex in our county, a place where our children can safely play. Well let’s look at some of the details surrounding this sports complex.

1) Our children will not be allowed to go there to play at will. Its purpose is to host teams competing from out of town.

2) The use of public funds to build a fantastically expensive project at the northern part of our county is wrong-headed. The northern part of our county is congested enough. It should be built in the southern end whose economy needs a boost.

3) The 95 acres just off Flower Street will cost taxpayers $75,000 an acre or $7.1 million. Land is available in other parts of the county far, far cheaper.

4) This sports complex located next to the high school will benefit the hotels and restaurants in Ocean City and West Ocean City greatly.

5) Once again, a project being considered and approved by the same four commissioners with no business plan, no total transparency reminiscent of the Black-Eyed Susan River Boat fiasco in Snow Hill.

6) It is estimated that a government-owned sports complex requires approximately 25 percent subsidy to operate, not including debt service and capital reserve funding. Where is that money coming from?

A tax hike will be probable.

7) Efforts to obtain total costs for a sports complex from our County Commissioners have been unsuccessful. Why, could it be they do not know?

8) This is a fast-tracked sports complex that never appeared in our County Capital Improvement Plan until less than a year ago.

9) Given the current economic situation, is this the right time to be building a major capital project?

Vote against or “NO” on question A.

Dennis W Evans