St. John council scraps controversial park proposal

2013-04-28T20:00:00Z 2013-04-28T23:25:03Z St. John council scraps controversial park proposalLu Ann Franklin Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
April 28, 2013 8:00 pm  • 

ST. JOHN | The proposed Bramblewood subdivision tot lot park is now history.

The St. John Town Council scrapped the idea last week, voting to discontinue discussion or action about the controversial park. The plan brought out more than a dozen Bramblewood residents to oppose its development on a corner residential lot in the 20-year old subdivision.

In February, council Vice President Larry Bustamante proposed creating more green space in the western area of St. John and to name the park in memory of the late James J. Thiel.

Thiel, 89, was an eight-year Town Council member and a volunteer firefighter for 25 years. Prominent in the St. John community, Thiel served as president of the St. John Civic Club for five terms and as president of a variety of civic, philanthropic and municipal boards.

Bustamante is a lieutenant/EMT with the St. John Fire Department and joined the department in 2003. He and his family live in Bramblewood.

In February, the council discussed several locations and decided on Bramblewood at Bustamante’s suggestion.

Controversy soon followed.

“There are so many people against it,” Councilman Gregory Volk said. “I’m not going to be in favor of pushing a park on a subdivision.”

Others questioned whether it was a good time to spend money for a park that hasn’t been reviewed by the St. John Park Board or the Parks Department.

Town Council President Michael Forbes said he learned Thursday that all members of the Park Board opposed the development of any park at this time.

“They have concerns about repair of existing equipment and repair to pavilions,” Forbes said. “Their concerns are monetary.”

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