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Proposed river access point would be expensive to clean up

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Posted: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 12:00 am

This is in response to the letter suggesting a kayak launch at city-owned property on the Mokelumne River (Sept. 8 by Mary Fuhs). There are some serious errors in the logic.

Although there have been some problems with transients, just ask the residents of River Meadows what might happen if the area were open to public access. We don't need another mess like the Woodbridge Regional Park. The calls to the police would probably triple if the parcel were to become an even greater magnet for unsupervised access.

She suggests that property values would go up, but I can't imagine how they would increase if there were 200 to 300 more vehicles routinely traveling through a quiet residential neighborhood; not to mention the problems of cars and trailers in an area where there is very limited parking.

The city has not been negligent by keeping this parcel closed. It has large quantities of lead in the ground from its use as a shooting range, as well as unknown quantities of battery acid, solvents, paints, tires and who knows what other hazardous waste when the property was a dump. It would be negligent for the city to open it under these conditions.

The city sold the property in the 1980s, but had to buy it back because of the contamination issues. The city cannot afford to pay the hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of dollars that would be required to clean up the site, or the legal fees if lawsuits resulted from making it public access.

If opened, the parcel could be a real 4-D property — Drunks, Drugs, Debris and Dangerous!

Bart Morrison


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