Sunday, Jan. 20, 2002
Bonita Lakes is a beautiful place
I am a runner, as well as an outdoor enthusiast and Bonita Lakes is a wonderful place to enjoy the beauty of the out-of-doors. I recently was a sponsor of, as well as a participant in, the "10k Trail Run For Hope." This was a wonderful event for a great charity and I am sure that this event will continue to grow and be held at Bonita Lakes.
I was born, raised, and have lived all but about 10 years of my life in Meridian. My two daughters now live somewhere else due to greater opportunities offered by other cities. Meridian, it seems, has always been held back by what I will call the "Me Sayers."
Even in the face of great opportunity there are still a few who can't see past their most minute pleasures. Me, Me, Me!
Bonita Lakes is a man-made lake and over time, the timber has been harvested throughout the property. Its natural beauty, however, is still a magnet for development, and has brought several wonderful projects to our doorstep. I am very pleased that the developments we have at hand fit so nicely with the natural beauty of the property, as well as our community's personality. The developments such as the Arts and Entertainment Center, the Agri Center, and a championship golf course all, are tremendous tourist attractions and portray the personality of Meridian beautifully.
At some point in time this property was destined to be developed, and the development that we currently have available is what we want, not a casino, as was once proposed, nor hotels and the like. These developments, which are now proposed, will protect Bonita Lakes from future developments that could spoil what we love about Bonita Lakes. Who would have thought that a man-made lake would have brought so much to our city, perhaps future projects should be to build more lakes.
The Cooper group estimates that they will import up to 6,000 new people to Meridian. This will increase our population by a whopping 15 percent. If they only deliver two-thirds, of this estimate, the city's population will increase by a hefty 10 percent. These new homeowners will pay property tax on rather expensive homes as well as all other taxes that citizens pay.
This large percentage of newcomers will increase the quality of our demographics and, in turn, will make Meridian more attractive to certain industries and national chain stores that we all would love to see locate here. (National corporations rely heavily on demographic surveys when considering new locations.)
The people who will relocate in Meridian due to the Cooper development will be people who have an elevated level of education and they will bring with them their social security income … 401(k)s … their annuities … their savings, and most importantly themselves. They will have a great deal of disposable income and the time to enjoy it right here in our community. They will subscribe to the local newspaper, join Meridian Little Theatre, Meridian Museum of Art and Meridian Symphony, volunteer their time to charities; they will attend our colleges, churches and use our hospitals.
Some will begin second careers and even open small businesses. They will be within walking distance of Bonita Lakes and Bonita Lakes Mall, and deliver the same cultural richness and diversity to our community as has NAS Meridian.
I intend to continue to run the Bonita trails until I am too old to do so any longer. The trails may be altered somewhat, but it will still be a beautiful invigorating out-of-doors experience.
Seeks council's support of Cooper Land project
To the editor:
To Meridian City Council Members:
This is a personal request, delivered to you through the open letter to the editor policy of The Meridian Star. It is asking for your full support of the Cooper Land Development Project, as has been presented, with my primary interest being in the building of a new, city-owned golf course near Bonita Lakes.
I address this, not to demean the nature-loving trail walkers and horseback riders, but to emphasize a need for your backing for the planned construction of the golf course in the near vicinity of the same lake used by them in their favorite pastime.
There are presently 14.4 miles of walking trails in this area being discussed. I agree that the land is beautiful, full of huge, aged trees, wildlife, small water falls, flowers, etc.
It is my understanding that there is only one current trail that would be disturbed by locating the course where planned. The diagram of the golf course shows that it would be mostly located east/southeast of the area currently and mostly used by the walkers/riders. I have been told that this one trail could easily be reestablished in another equally enjoyable area.
There are acres of woodland, still undisturbed by human change, that could be used by nature lovers, encroaching in no way on the property being planned for golf use.
Sure, there will be a disturbance of the wildlife and serene quietness now being enjoyed, but only as the construction is under way, and not to be a permanent annoyance. Afterwards, there may be heard an occasional shout of "Fore," announcing a stray hit golf ball.
A golf course, built to the specifications of the one planned at Bonita Lakes, would be an area not only to challenge the skills of the golfers, but also an area of beauty; a goodly number of acres of attraction, which I believe when completed will be agreed to be exactly that by those who are now showing disapproval of construction in this particular area.
Sure. As stated in a previous letter to the editor, a golf course could be built "somewhere else."
The current Lakeview course is full of wildlife. It is continually a home for many Canada geese, squirrels, numerous species of birds and occasional crossings of deer. These wildlife are undisturbed, knowing that the golfers have no plans of harming them. Some come up to the humans to be hand fed.
Lakeview Golf Course is primarily self-supporting. I won't go into what the golfers must pay to the city to enjoy their pastime, compared to what I believe the walkers/riders pay the city for their place of enjoyment.
This writer is a retired senior citizen. In years past, I enjoyed fishing the lakes of Bonita and, now regretfully remembered, played hooky from school there a few times. I dropped those "sports" and took up the game of golf.
It would be rude of me to say that "you can go ride your horses and take a stroll in the woods anywhere," as the golfers have been told that a new course could "be built just anywhere."
Membership in our two local country clubs cannot be financially afforded by most golfers using the Lakeview course. Play there would be only as a guest of a club member. The Navy base course is not open to the general public. What does that leave?
As aforementioned, Lakeview is primarily a self-supporting facility, unlike the majority of other Parks and Recreation activities. It must pay its own way. Its budget is so tight that it cannot afford to purchase a dump truck nor a bucket truck, which on any other golf course would be an absolute essential for moving dirt and keeping trees trimmed and limbs cut.
Absolutely, horseback riders and trail hikers, the golfers do not desire to take away your enjoyments at the Bonita Lakes.
The entire area of Lakeview is being given up with a promise of a better, more professional and more attractive course near the upper lake to allow for this multi-million dollar land development project to come into our community.
Your full support and approval of this project is requested.