Letter: Purchasing greenspace

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Editor,

Westfield Washington Township has listened to the community and is pleased that the board has approved funds to purchase land for greenspace. We know that greenspace not only increases home values but it also improves quality of life and preserves the local culture and economy.

Based on the 2010 Township Parks Comprehensive Plan set forth by the previous administration, there was a desire to look for opportunities to acquire more property for township parks. In 2015, the township held public meetings and distributed surveys that confirmed the community was concerned about losing greenspace. The township board adopted a parks and open space master plan in 2016 that made the preservation of natural areas through land acquisition a priority. Board members David Gill and Gary Southerland passed a resolution in 2017 to preserve land and to offset large development to the south. The area outlined in the plan includes the unique topography north of Ind. 38, south of 216th Street, east of U.S. 31 and west of Hinkle Road.

Communities that are saturated with development are now struggling to retrofit with greenspace and are at the mercy of high land cost. The township is being proactive and working with many partners to make sure the area outlined above is preserved instead of developed. In fast-growing cities, property taxes are not always able to cover all the necessary costs for fire and community-driven expenses. Townships, therefore, have to seek tax increases or loans. By maintaining open space and keeping development near existing services, the township will be able to keep taxes minimal.

If you want additional facts about this plan, please contact the Township Office at trustee@wwtownship.us.

Danielle Carey Tolan,

Westfield Washington Township Trustee

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