The Whitehall Road Regional Park boondoggle has been going on since about 2002, and there are too many horrible twists and turns along the way to summarize.
Collection of source documents below; if you really want more detailed history, contact Katherine Watt and ask for it. But honestly, the more you understand, the more disgusted you’ll be, so feel free to ignore the sordid past.
The Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority will try to take another step toward realizing their taxpayer rip-off vision, when CRPR Director Pam Salokangas appears at the Centre Region Council of Governments General Forum meeting on Monday, August 27 at 7 p.m. to give local legislators a project update.
Nittany Valley Environmental Coalition’s Randy Hudson has been focusing on public accountability and design problems with the WRRP project, drafting memos to local governing entities and appearing at public meetings to comment.
Readers interested in reinforcing Randy’s basic message of “STOP AND RE-DO” are encouraged to attend:
- Monday, Aug. 27 COG General Forum meeting (7 p.m. at 2643 Gateway Drive), and
- Thursday, Sept. 10 Ferguson Township Parks and Recreation Committee meeting (4 p.m. at Ferguson Municipal Building Conference Room 2, 3147 Research Drive).
IMPORTANT PROCEDURAL NOTE:
Salokangas has successfully blocked elected General Forum members from engaging in full discussion and votes on WRRP issues for the past two years, by restricting all but one of her presentations (May 22, 2017) to “information only” or “of record” formats.
This has also blocked public comment before and after her WRRP presentations, because the topic is not deemed “actionable” for the General Forum, and therefore General Forum is uninterested in public concerns.
If you attempt to make a public comment just before or just after Salokangas’ presentation on August 27, your voice will be shut down by General Forum Chair Danelle Del Corso.
If you wish to speak about WRRP on August 27, make sure you raise your hand and head to the podium at the very start of the meeting, right at 7 p.m., for the public comment period set aside for topics “not on the agenda,” even though WRRP will be on the agenda.
It makes no sense. Welcome to your local government.
Other meetings to consider attending to speak:
- Thursday, Sept. 16 COG Parks Capital Committee, 12:15 p.m. at 2643 Gateway Drive.
- Thursday, Sept. 20, Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority, 12:15 p.m. at Bernel Road Park, 2501 Bernel Road.
Email message sent by Nittany Valley Environmental Coalition to Centre Region Council of Governments and Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors on Monday, August 20.
Dear Mr. Steff, Ms. Del Corso, Mr. Buckland, Mr. Miller, Ms. Dininni, Ms. Carlson and Mr. Ricciardi:
Attached please find a letter from Randy Hudson of the Nittany Environmental Coalition, reflecting our membership’s concerns with the proposed Whitehall Road Regional Park design and the processes used to prepare it.
Along with the letter, please find a graphic representation of data about community regional park preferences, collected in 2008 by the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority and collated by NVEC in July 2018.
We also include a graphic representation of the relative WRRP budget allocations for rectangular field park development and for green/open space park development, based on cost estimates that were available to NVEC in July 2018.
We are in the process of updating this chart in light of updated project cost data that became publicly available on August 16, 2018 during the CRPRA Board meeting.
It is our current understanding that:
- The Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority Board has not addressed Ferguson Township supervisors concerns and suggestions per Ferguson Township’s August 17, 2016 letter to CRCOG and Ferguson Township’s March 21, 2018 letter to CRPRA. 8.17.16 FT BoS Letter to CRCOG Re WRRP; 3.21.18 FT BoS Letter to CRPRA Re WRRP
- The CRPRA Board has not consulted with State College Borough Water Authority regarding risks to public water supplies from the proposed development, per CRPR Director Pam Salokangas discussion at SCBWA’s April 19, 2018 meeting, SCBWA’s April 24, 2018 letter, and SCBWA’s June 26, 2018 followup email. 4.24.18 SCBWA Letter to CRPRA Re Sourcewater Protection; 6.26.18 SCBWA Followup Email to CRPRA Re Sourcewater Protection
- At General Forum on August 27, the CRPRA Board will propose a Phase 1 development plan with a base cost of at least $6.1 million for grass fields with no lights, and a base cost of $9.4 million if Phase 1 is to include artificial turf fields and lights. This proposal was presented at the August 16, 2018 CRPRA Board meeting, and contrasts with an allocated maximum budget of $4.8 million per Patton Township’s letter to CRPRA dated Oct. 19, 2016 and the COG General Forum funding vote on May 22, 2017.10.19.16 Patton Township Letter to CRPRA re Regional Park Funding; 5.22.17 COG GF Minutes