Taxpayer funds shouldn’t go toward athletic facility

On Sept. 5, I submitted the following email to all Bargersville Town Council members:

To the Bargersville Town Council,

My name is Kyle Nash, a Bargersville resident who lives in the annexed Tremont subdivision on Smokey Row Road.

I am writing in order to inform you of my family’s displeasure of what we have read in recent issues of the Daily Journal concerning the proposed athletic complex in Bargersville.

Specifically, the most recent article discussing the developer’s request (or should I say blackmail/threat) for the town of Bargersville to give them $950,000 a year for 20 years, or lose the chance to have them build this complex. The article states that “Bargersville officials … need to discuss where the money would come from.”

We had no problem with the original plan of four ball fields being built, even though our children will never use it, but we do have a problem with the new complex proposal and its inherent traffic problems on an already overtaxed highway 135. We also have a real problem with businesses wanting a free ride at the taxpayers’ expense … as towns so often let happen these days.

First of all, these developers believe that the town can get local schools and groups to cover the $950,000 per year by renting time at the complex. In the first article discussing this new project (as opposed to the original four ball fields proposal) from about a month or so ago, the paper quoted many of the local school officials as saying they didn’t need to rent space there or that it would be highly unlikely that they would do so.

I believe only one said they may take a look at using it. I believe that’s why the developers want to dump it off on Bargersville, because they have no ability to recoup that money. Even if some schools and groups were interested, how high would that rent have to be to recoup $950,000?

Secondly, how will this really benefit Bargersville economically? There are no hotels/motels or fast food restaurants anywhere around us (thank God) so any people that come to this complex would still be spending their money in Greenwood and Franklin. Few will be visiting Johnson’s BBQ and even fewer will be visiting Taxman or Red’s.

Maybe the Chicago’s Pizza and Subway, as well as the gas stations, will see a slight uptick in business.

Thirdly, the developers, especially Mr. Card and Mr. Costelow, seem to have an inflated opinion of themselves and their project. Mr. Card stating “If you’re not interested, then others are,” should be a huge red flag for your council.

I don’t believe threatening a town is a good way to develop a “partnership” as they said they desired. Too many businesses, sports teams, etc., use this scare tactic to blackmail towns/cities to cave in to their wants and I believe it needs to stop.

I would hope that this town council would realize some day that the majority of people in the old and annexed Bargersville areas chose to move here to be away from needless development and be in a “small-town” area. Most of us don’t want to see us grow in size and have all the headaches that go with increased development (traffic, crime, higher taxes, etc.)

The article also states that the “Town council members … want to form a committee to study it further. Their goal is to meet to discuss the project again soon, and also discuss ways the town could fund the annual payment.”

Above all, taxpayer money should not be used for this project. If we have enough money floating around to throw at this boondoggle, then how about spending it on improving the roads. The streets in my subdivision are probably the worst of anywhere in Bargersville.

Within only a couple hours I had received responses from both Ken Zumstein and Jim Beck. Beck’s was quite lengthy and informative.

As of the afternoon of Sept. 12, I have yet to hear a word from any of the other board members. Either Gayle Allard, Rowana Umbarger, Bruce Morris, and Steve Longstreet are too busy to even acknowledge my concerns or don’t care about them enough to reply.

I would recommend any Bargersville residents that are concerned about this unneeded development and its probable effect on their taxes to contact these council members. Maybe the others besides Zumstein and  Beck will actually respond if they get many more emails or letters.

Kyle Nash is a Bargersville resident. Send comments to letters@dailyjournal.net.