Point Mallard needs clear, certain definition
Decatur residents wouldn't be having discussions today about the possibility of re-inventing Point Mallard Park if previous city governments had given the facility a definite direction.
The city has never decided if the aquatic center and golf course are primarily for local use or for luring tourist dollars.
The city hasn't decided if the park is to generate revenue or if it is a recreation expense. Vacillation creates an image of a facility of questionable value to the area and invites private entrepreneurs into the discussion.
The latest proposal is River Country LLC by Decatur resident Rex Rankin III and Dough Gooch of Madison. The plan dazzles the imagination. The prediction of a $300 million economic impact tempts city officials trying to restrain spending.
But it also raises fear in many of the people who live in Pointe Mallard Estates who envision a Magic Kingdom in the midst of what they view as their idyllic world.
The developers want the City Council to authorize Mayor Don Kyle to complete a fact-finding study as a prelude to considering the proposal.
That's fair, but at the same time, the city should go further in deciding Point Mallard's future. If the city is going to continue to operate the park, city officials need to stop griping about not turning a profit and make the aquatic center and golf course more attractive to our people.
Uncertainty may be killing Point Mallard Park.