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Published: Friday, 6/6/2003

A win-win outdoors

A PLAN for Toledo Area Metroparks to buy 205 acres of county land - for the dual purpose of enlarging its Oak Openings corridor holdings and providing space for sports fields for the Anthony Wayne Area Joint Recreation District - makes great sense.

The land would connect the Blue Creek Conservation Area and the Wabash Cannonball bike/hike trail. The park system has playing fields at other venues, though a sports complex such as the one envisaged is on a somewhat grander scale.

The proposal in no way flies in the face of voters' rejection of a sports complex in Whitehouse last November. They didn't want their taxes to go up. The recreational development will surely find its way to the ballot again, but without land acquisition costs attached.

And at $1,000 an acre, the county will earn a tidy sum even as it contributes to the general welfare by enhancing the Metroparks system.

The village of Whitehouse, as part of this deal, will lease 120 of the 205 acres until 2017. The lease is renewable after that. It will also be responsible for developing the sports fields and facilities. It will need help from voters and will ask for it.

This is an example of creative public enterprise, something that should please Lucas County residents, and something they should be happy to see more of. The county commissioners should endorse the sale at their June 24 meeting. There is no real reason to delay.

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