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Re: E-M:/ Wayne County Town Hall meeting tonight



Doug,
 
Correct.  To the best of my knowledge, no new park land has been purchased despite the promise to use the millage money for that purpose.  Some money MAY have been used for studies on Fort Wayne (although I doubt it), however there is no evidence that Wayne County has done any work restoring this historic treasure on the Detroit riverfront.
 
In the 1960s, Wayne County had several hundred more acres of parkland than it has today.  A lot of park land has been sold or given away to developers--primarily in Dearborn along the Rouge River.  (Hundreds of acres of County land, not designated but very suitable for parks, have also been disposed of at bargain sale prices, even as low as $1.)  Other park land has been lost to sewage retention basins and other non-park uses.  In the past 40+ years, except for Crosswinds Marsh--which was established as a wetland mitigation project for Metro Airport--the only other new park land for Wayne County was 40 acres which were added in 1993 to the William P. Holliday Forest & Wildlife Preserve in Westland.  The Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy purchased and transferred that property to the County using a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant.  No County funds were used towards the purchase price, however I was very grateful that the County accepted the property, given that I was involved in the land purchase.
 
I've lived in Wayne County all of my life (and even worked for the County for a while), so it's sad to say that Wayne County is not looked upon in the most favorable light when it comes to stewardship of our public park land or public tax dollars.
 
Jack Smiley
 
P.S.  In the 1970s, Wayne County received about 10 acres of parkland from MDOT, but that was only to replace the amount of parkland which was taken in the construction of I-275.  I'm aware of at least one other "public taking" which involved replacement acreage, but never new and increased acreage.