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Ask Mr. Answer Person: "Can Wold Park be cleaned up?"

Posted: Tue, Jun 21, 2011 2:10 PM

Scott e-mails Mr. Answer Person: "Is Wold Park going to be cleaned up more so it is more appealing for the public?  Currently it seems to be hidden by junk vehicles from East Side Body Shop.  Thought I heard last year there were going to be improvements made to this park.

I think for the safety of children playing on the playground equipment or the skate board park this should be a priority by our parks dept. and city to help make it more visible for public use. Where the junk vehicles are etc. would make a nice additional parking area for trail users."

Mr. Answer Person says: "Actually, I think Wold Park HAS been cleaned up a lot over the past five years or so.  It's a lot nicer now than it was before the Parks Department began working on projects such as adding the skateboard park, the picnic shelter and new playground equipment.

The park has also been helped by the purchase of property from Dick and Jan Helgeson.  The Helgesons then turned around and gave the money from the sale of the property to the Decorah Community Foundation, with instructions that the interest from the fund be used to pay for parks programs.

What you are looking at, Scott, is property that does not belong to the Parks & Recreation Department, but is private property owned by the owners of East Side Body Shop.  There's nothing in the works to have the City of Decorah purchase this property from East Side Body.  I hope you'd agree that it is important to have local businesses that hire employees and pay taxes.  In other words, even though you'd like to see the property used for additional parking for the park, it's also important that East Side Body Shop have property to park the vehicles that it works on in order to remain a strong business—and pay property taxes that support the park system.

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