To the Editor:
I see the town of Oak Bluffs is going to dedicate the unused property at the Leonardo site to Little League use, only so they can entice the other towns to help cover the $250,000 it’s going to cost to build the fields. I guess it doesn’t really matter what the voters vote at Oak Bluffs town meeting. Incredible. So, what happens when the plant needs to be expanded?
We were very clear at town meeting that the land was purchased by and for all the residents of Oak Bluffs for future wastewater expansion and disposal needs. (Sludge dewatering, septage treatment, etc.) Without it, there is no place for any type of plant expansion. We even debated that if the town wants to vote the $200,000 for a couple of Little League fields it was fine, but just keep in mind that someday they’ll have to relocate. It could be five, 10, or 20 more years, but the day will come. The voters understood and voted the money for the fields, and so did I. Any forfeiture of the town’s first right to use the property for the purpose it was voted would be reckless and irresponsible.
To suggest that town meeting can vote to change the use of the property when the time comes is risky. Voting the money to utilize the land for what it was intended is a lot different than voting the money and also voting to remove the Little League fields. Also, let’s not forget that the principal and interest paid on the loan to purchase this property has been paid for by using excess town of Oak Bluffs user fee receipts.
Why are we going to give up our only means of expansion to try and share the cost of a $200,000 to $250,000 project? Talk about shortsightedness. If we don’t have the land available without giving up this piece, then maybe Little League should look to another town, and we’ll kick in our share. They’re not making any more land, and certainly not right next to a facility that will one day need to be larger and have additional components installed to remove different emerging pollutants.
I’m not fighting Little League, and in fact support them 100 percent in their effort to build a facility where our youth can enjoy the excitement of hosting tournaments on the Island. What I am doing is questioning the leadership in Oak Bluffs who have decided to ignore, once again, the voters of Oak Bluffs.