More sense, please

As most probably know, I am a huge supporter of economic development. I want to see this county and the cities within it attain the goals necessary for prosperity.

Making decisions for responsible economic development sometimes is difficult.

I know the Marion County Commission believes it is doing the right thing by letting a private business lease half of the county lake hall.

After all, the developer said he was ready to walk if the commission was not willing to meet his requirements.

What's a commission to do?

On the other hand, I am having a difficult time understanding the reasoning for giving up a portion of a public building. The decision by the commission should not be based only on dollars but some sense.

Commissioner Dallke said if this project "flies" the county could build another lake hall to accommodate the needs of the public.

The lake hall was built for $32,000 in 1973. Do you think you can build another one for that amount, Mr. Dallke? Not hardly.

And what about the public good? Big deal the lake hall isn't rented 365 days a year. The point should be noted that it is rented by patrons and visitors when needed — probably more some years than others.

It seems to me that the developer would come out further ahead in building his own café instead of spending $18,000 per year on a lease payment to the county. During a five-year period, the developer would pay the county $90,000 which would be the cost of a fairly decent building.

Maybe one of the cabins could be used as a café and instead of building six cabins, build five with the café.

I believe the Whitfills' plans would enhance the county lake experience and I have seen private enterprise do well on public land at other lakes.

However, I believe the lake hall was built with the intention of it being used by all people, not as a means of revenue for the county. The hall use fee was designed to cover expenses of cleanup and contribute to utilities but the commission is being remiss in the real purpose of the lake hall building.

What other public buildings are next to be used as a revenue source?