It is understandably upsetting to residents and members of the Bellevue Concerned Citizens Organization that their wishes for the old Durrs Lake property, now called the Filmore Thomas site, have sat in limbo for more than a decade.
But the wait has been much longer than that. The site that housed two skating rinks and multiple lakes had not been a viable concern since the 1980s. While the skating area was open for business, the formerly whites-only rink, couldnt draw flies and the property just sat; much of the acreage overgrown.
Now residents are being asked to wait again as they are caught in a perplexing position between the city and county. While the county has $1.5 million in SPLOST funds dedicated to the site, it doesnt own the property. The city retained ownership even though recreation transferred to the county in the service delivery agreement due to the sites unimproved status.
The fix is relatively easy. The city could quickly agree, along with the county, to deed the land to the county, clearing up the funding issue. That would add another slight headache to the county as it assumes control of other recreation facilities.
City and county leaders from Ward 4 and commission District 3 should quickly set up a meeting with the neighborhood representatives to work this thing through. Certainly, its going to take more than $1.5 million to make the park all that it can be, but at least they can plan for the first phase.
-- Charles E. Richardson, for the Editorial Board