Over the past 10 years in this newspaper, I have been an outspoken cheerleader for Idaho Falls, especially for our Parks Department. But I am truly appalled at what our City Council is now planning for South Capital Park, the beautiful small park on the river next door to the art museum.
The city plans to build a new 185-foot tall 1 million gallon water tower smack dab in the middle of the park. The huge tower would dominate and eviscerate the central portion of this small park. To see just how big the water tower will be, search Facebook for “Water Tank Goes Up, City of Georgetown Texas.”
This plan is wrong on multiple levels. South Capital Park should have been eliminated at the outset because the land was purchased with Land and Water Conservation fund dollars, which requires that the land remain a park in perpetuity. But so far, only two Council members have recognized this mistake. Aside from them, South Capital Park appears to have had no other advocates within city leadership or staff, and that is pretty sad.
The city’s public outreach effort, no matter how well-intentioned, failed to reach a large segment of the people who would have weighed in on the location of the new water tower. As a six-year member of the Parks and Recreation Commission, even I was in the dark until just a few months ago. The city also failed to consider other potential sites that might have been preferable to any of the three sites that made the final cut.
For more information, please visit the Water Tower Relocation page on Facebook, and join our group of 600 plus people who oppose this plan and write, call or email our City Council to let them know how you feel. Their contact information is online at IdahoFallsIdaho.gov.