Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2002
Reader has questions for Meridian city council
To the editor:
Here is an open letter to members of the Meridian city council:
I trust that this new year finds you well. Thank you for all the endless hours that you give to the citizens of Meridian. I know that yours is indeed a thankless job.
Today I am contacting you in regard to the Cooper development. After talking with Mayor Smith three times and reading and studying all that I can find on the proposal, I believe that this deal is a fairly good one, at least for Cooper Development. For Meridian I am not so sure. I do have some questions that no one either can or will answer.
1. Who is to be paid the proceeds for sale of all timber to be cut on the 1,314 acres east of Highway 45?
2. Who is to be paid the proceeds for sale of all timber to be cut on the 152 acres west of Highway 45?
3. Where are the experts coming from who say that Bonita lakes is a good place to build an 18 hole golf course? (I can answer that one: Cooper employees. All they want is another close golf course to offer their prospective clients. To be played on at half the normal greens fees).
4. Who picks up the extra cost to maintain this new golf course?
5. What happens when other user groups (at least 8) come into conflict with the golfers?
6. Who makes the decision when Cooper says that need to clear more than 152 acres to build this course?
7. Where does all the runoff from the use of thousands and thousands of pounds of fertilizer, fungicides, pesticides and herbicides go to? (Perhaps into the lakes and fish to be consumed by Bonita fisherman).
8. Whoever decided that Bonita needed to be developed? Just because it is there is not a good reason.
9. Where are the other properties that were considered for the new golf course?
10. Who "WERE" those city council persons who decided 40 years ago to build three high-rise parking garages with elevators that never were useful?
11. And last but not least Where are all "YOU" courageous Meridianites who will stand with me and many others by calling our mayor and city council to make certain that the golf course is relocated to another site away from Bonita Lakes?
Meridian doesn't need another golf course
To the editor:
If the city wants to pave over Bonita and make another golf course … go for it. It will probably only be the thousandth one in Mississippi. A golf course is not what Meridian needs. The city wastes money continuously. Meridian has so much potential, but always gets railroaded by ridiculous ideas.
Granted I don't live in Meridian anymore, so I have no right to bash the city. But my family still lives there, and I return often. A lot of folks I went to MHS with don't live there anymore either. I wonder why that is?
A golf course might appease the ever increasing aged population living in Meridian. Let's turn Meridian into the next old folks home … better than Florida.
Now let me reveal my true motives behind this. It's that I am an avid mountain biker/racer. Meridian is well known around the South. I have run across many people who knew of and have even been to Bonita to ride. To actually rank it, for mountain biking, it is probably one of the top three riding spots in the state. It is worthy of a race or two if the city would allow it. And, yes, there is a State Games race, which is great, but racing can be taken to a grander level than that. There are countless race series' in the South that Bonita could be a part of and bring some income to the town during the summer.
We need to enhance what we have out there, rather than cut it down and give us something we already have plenty of. Hikers, bikers and, yes, even those dreaded Equestrians (its a mountain biker thing) need to get together on this and stop this in its tracks. Protection of the forest/outdoors is the future.
Bonita is a stress reliever. It's a place where the problems of the day can be sorted out or just forgotten. Don't let Bonita be taken away from Meridian. It would be an irreversible mistake.