Friday, May 20, 2011
There is a tiny element of truth in most lies, and I think this idea that "a little risk is OK, a little pain is OK, progress always has it's costs" is one of the ideas causing people to support the gun range. However, they are failing to realize the bigger truth that whenever possible, a good leader will minimize the risks, and the risks are borne by consenting adults, hopefully for a short time in order to have a long-term gain. A good leader follows the reasonable recommendations of expert organizations: I take my vitamins and eat healthy and get prenatal care, and I see the construction workers using safety equipment and directing traffic away from workers. A good leader speaks up for those less powerful than himself.
These situations are entirely different than the situation of the gun range, where the City Council (and others) are asking someone else to bear long-term or permanent risks, costs, and pain of "progress" that isn't essential at all, and meanwhile ignoring the safety recommendations of experts such as the NRA and EPA.
John Byl, president of NIOSC, the gun club planning to build the range, said
"All progress is not good for everyone in the community." (quote in Northwest Iowa Review).
Thursday, May 19, 2011
- Three hole golf course. putting green, driving range and mini-golf. This level of golf activity would not compete with the Ridge and would likely foster more desire in people to actually golf at the Ridge, which would increase their business.
- Facilities for sporting activities such roller hockey, volleyball, and disc golf could be made or upgraded
- Ponds, beaches and shorelines could be improved. There are many people that enjoy fishing and swimming at Sandy Hollow, and these improvements would increase their numbers.
- Improve the camping facilities and add camping spots. As other improvements are added more campers will come. They will spend money in Sioux Center also.
- Improve and add shelter houses
- Prairie, wetland, or nature areas with walking trails
- Connect the bike trail to Orange city, which is connected to Alton
- Archery range
- Community gardens
- Cabins that could be used for camping, family reunions, etc. I have enjoyed spending time with family at Inspiration Hills at their cabins, which are available year round, and I think something similar would be great at Sandy Hollow.
- Rock climbing wall
- Low ropes course for teamwork activities
- Outdoor exercise and fitness equipment such as that available on the Orange City/Alton bike trail
- Gazebos: good for relaxing, small group meeting place useful for day camps, retreats, reunions
- Paddleboat rental
- Paintball area
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Liability and Financial Risk for the City of Sioux Center:
As the owner of the Sandy Hollow property, the City of Sioux Center is likely to be held partially responsible for environmental degradation caused by the proposed Outdoor Sporting Complex, should it occur. Given the nature of the site, and the operations currently planned, ground and surface water contamination are likely, and the cost of remediation could be substantial. Applicable federal laws and regulations include the Clean Water Act (CWA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund). (National Shooting Sports Foundation, ‘Environmental Aspects of Construction and Management of Outdoor Shooting Ranges, p. 1-3 to 1-9).
The proposed lease with the NIOSC Board indicates that the Board is responsible for managing the lead shot dispersed on the property, but does not include language specific enough to ensure that the site will be decontaminated prior to termination of the lease. Contaminated land (defined by statute) would have minimal resale value, and if the shooting range was no longer in operation could be subject to RCRA statutes requiring decontamination at the owner’s expense. Given the extensive areas that will receive lead deposits at Sandy Hollow, the land area is very likely to be considered ‘contaminated’ at the end of the lease, leaving the City and its residents with a substantial (hundreds of thousands of dollars in comparable cases) cleanup bill.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
We the following people of the City of Sioux Center and surrounding area hereby object to the City’s leasing of City property to the Northwest Iowa Outdoor Sporting Complex Board for the purposes of a public shooting range and sports complex. We object to the City’s involvement in such shooting range and sports complex as it will inevitably subject the City to future liability for personal injury, property damage, nuisance, diminution of surrounding real estate values, and environmental waste and cleanup under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
"If you want to go to a place where you're protected from what your neighbor does, you ought to live in a community".
Please show your support and that "community" is something larger and deeper than simply the city limits of Sioux Center, it is a group of people who want to support each other and do what is safe and respectful of all.