2012-03-08 / Editorial

Report provides numbers for Fort Getty decisions

Much has been debated about what the community should do with the town-owned Fort Getty park. Currently, the town operates a popular campground that provides a net annual revenue of about $280,000. But a sizeable investment in the park’s facilities will be required to keep the campground going in the future.

Many islanders believe that Fort Getty is an underutilized town jewel and argue that the park offers a spectacular seaside location that should be of more benefit to the community. People say they don’t feel at home at Fort Getty because of the campground.

So a debate has emerged over what the town should do with the park. Several ideas have been put forth, including establishment of a sailing center, an event hall and an open-air stage for entertainment. Lots of ideas.

But the discussion always returns to the nagging question of how any of these proposed changes or developments would impact the bottom line. After all, that $280,000 yearly revenue is part of the annual town budget. If the revenue is lost or diminished, then taxpayers will have to make up the difference. In these economic times, that’s a tough thing to ask of our neighbors.

Now we have some hard numbers to reference. A report compiled by Landworks Collaborative provides a detailed expense/revenue analysis of the various proposed scenarios. The report was introduced at this week’s Town Council meeting.

This report, which will be posted on the town’s website, should be required reading for everyone who has a stake in the future of Fort Getty. The town is planning to hold a workshop this spring on determining a roadmap for the Fort Getty park in the years ahead. Please take the time to study the report before attending the workshop.

— Jeff McDonough

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