Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

Should Walworth County buy parkland?

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Greg Peck
June 14, 2013

If you saw photographer Dan Lassiter’s picture of the Copper Kettle Ranch on the front page of Sunday’s Gazette, you saw an image so pretty that it could serve as a postcard to lure Walworth County visitors.

The thing is, the land isn’t public property. But it could be. Duane Clark wants to sell his 190.5 acres off Sheridan Springs Road. Yes, his $1.91 million price is a big one.

Some supervisors—perhaps the lone four needed to scuttle it—are against the purchase. They argue it’s too expensive, or that the money could be better used to fix roads, or about upkeep costs for the barn and house, or that only half of Clark’s property is ideal for recreation and the rest is best used as farmland.

Proponents counter with plenty of solid arguments, as reporter Neil Johnson detailed in Sunday’s Gazette. Besides, they reason, the county would only strike the deal if it secures a state Stewardship Fund grant for half the purchase price.

We’ll share our perspectives in our editorial Saturday.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook

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