This issue is a big deal. So far there’s been no real debate about the pending fate of the Cottage in the woods and this is troubling. Only the Forks Historical and Art Societies have appeared before the Supervisors to plead their case for a cultural use of the building and grounds. They requested time to raise money to restore the cottage. Although Supervisors have expressed appreciation and support for these citizen efforts, no Supervisor has said a word about Township funds available in the Forks Recreation Capital Reserve Account of over $800,000.
These funds, specifically set aside for recreational purposes, can be tapped to remediate the cottage’s mold problem, repair windows and roof. Clearly, winterizing the cottage can create time to develop a long-range plan for the best utilization of the property within our Community Park. After all, Capital Reserve account money was used to rehabilitate the Panzini Community House next door, making it ready for public use. That was just two years ago.
If Supervisors support the efforts of these concerned citizens, why hasn’t a single one of them suggested the use of the recreation funds to save the cottage as a valuable park asset?
Sadly, it was Supervisors’ inattention that brought the Cottage to its present deplorable condition. Why did they let it go? During this time, they have resurfaced the tennis and basketball courts, built rest rooms, three neighborhood parks, basketball court, replaced Park’s major play lot and exercise stations, added more t-ball and soccer fields to the inventory, expanded recreation paths and even built an amphitheater, just to name a few projects, all paid by these reserve funds.
Could the answer possibly be simple and one you won’t like?
It takes the vote of three Supervisors to save or not save the cottage and woods in our park. Supervisors Martyak and O’Neal have a vested interest in not saving the woods or cottage. They took office at the behest of the Forks Athletic Association, and pledged to increase youth sports presence in our Community Park with more t-ball fields and additional parking areas.
Mr. O’Neal, who has publicly supported Art Society efforts to raise money to rehab the Cottage, knows full well there is little likelihood they will be able to do it. Then he and Mr. Martyak can push for the demolition and tree cutting, saying, “We’ve supported more time for you. Nice try folks, but we have to move forward. Sorry.”
Yet to be determined is what Supervisor will sell out and join them. Come to Thursday night’s meeting and tell the Supervisors what you want to be done, because this issue IS a big deal.