Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Popular Waldron Lake Park Up For Sale
The Boys and Girls Club-owned property is up for sale and two lawmakers want to use state funds so the municipality can buy it.
As Governor Sean Parnell goes through the state's capital budget projects, one Anchorage neighborhood hopes his veto pen won’t touch their local park and lake.
The popular Waldron Lake Park has impacted generations of kids and adults, but with a for sale sign up, the future of the fields, trails, and waters used by many is in jeopardy unless state capital funds stay in place.
For Cherie Northon, Waldron Lake is a treat she looks forward to seeing every single day. Tucked right outside the busy Tudor Road, the quiet and pristine area offers a variety of activities from sports to the outdoors for residents and wildlife to enjoy.
“A lot of people use it for walking their dogs, training their dogs,” said Northon, who lives near Waldron Lake. Another lake patron, Mahri Lowinger, said she enjoys living near a nice lake.
But the popular spot, and former homestead land, is up for sale. Owned by the Boys & Girls Clubs-Alaska since the early 1970s, the organization is now looking for buyers to make up for declining funds to support kids across the state.
“We are forced at this point to sell this property in order to put that funding into our mission,” said Alana Humphrey, interim CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs-Alaska.
To save it, Sen. Johnny Ellis and Rep. Berta Gardner put $4 million of state funding into the capital budget so the municipality can buy the property and keep it open for public use.
“Not only can it be maintained as open recreational land for Anchorage, the proceeds from the sale support Boys & Girls Clubs all over the state,” said Humphrey.
It’s a win-win situation for the community unless Governor Sean Parnell vetoes the capital funds. That would leave whoever buys the land the choice to do whatever they want with it. “It is quite possible that it will be attractive to a developer,” said Humphrey.
A developer could then use that property to possibly put more housing or businesses on the over 15 acres of land. “No, we definitely don't want to see condos here-it would really the change the character of the neighborhood,” said Lowinger.
“How many condos can you put in here and how many people will be pleased compared to how many people will be really, really unhappy and terribly upset,” said Northon.
Residents like Cherie Northon aren't giving up and ask the governor to save their park not just for them, but for the entire city.
“We've gone door to door and anybody that was home and we spoke to…they were very concerned,” she said. “I want to ask Governor Parnell, to please, please consider this very carefully and to not veto those funds. It’s very important to kids and to the community,” said Humphrey.
Waldron Lake Park is a multi-use area used for dog walking, soccer, football, and the trails; city fire departments also use the lake for rescue training throughout the year.
The governor’s spokesperson Sharon Leighow told KTVA CBS 11 News that with the budget due by July 1, each capital project is being analyzed. His goal is to maintain spending around last year's totals that were around $2.8 billion.