Gault to vote against Wellness Park

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


Having been unable to work out any compromise regarding the proposed Wellness Park, Washington City Council member Steve Gault told council members he would be voting against the park from now on.

During the Washington City Council meeting Tuesday evening, Gault said he would vote against the construction until the city gets something in the proposal making it a Wellness Park as opposed to a sport complex. He said the current plan with four baseball diamonds and two soccer field does not make the project a ?park.?

?It is not something that is made for the public,? he said. ?It is something that is made for a certain percentage of the public that the rest of the taxpayers who are paying for it are not getting to use.?

City administrator Brent Hinson said efforts continue to accommodate Gault?s concerns. He said the pond is part of that plan. He believes the end result will be a park Gault will find acceptable.

During recent budget workshops, Gault strongly objected to the proposed plan for the proposed wellness park, saying he had voted for the park based on the promise that it would include a 4-1/2 acre retention pond that would be used to help inflow and infiltration problems the city has had. He said that the current plan does not include the pond.

During a discussion on the Wellness Park in January, Gault said many of the initial cost estimates seemed way too high. Gault had said there would be some places he would put a ?screaming halt? to the expenses. He particularly objected to the estimate of $200,000 for a concession stand, which he called ?mind-blowing.?

?I can build one heck of a house for $200,000,? Gault said.

Designers from MSA referred to the cost estimates as ?middle of the road,? and said the costs will have to be flexible to fit the budget.