Originally created 08/16/97

Opposes new Wildwood development

As a resident of Keg Creek, I am strongly opposed to any new, extensive development of Wildwood Park. Keg Creek is already nicknamed "the strip" because of the overcrowded watercraft activity. It is an accident waiting to happen, a lawsuit pending.

Any future docks (excluding a courtesy dock at the boat ramp) or marina (Tradewinds is a stone's throw away) would only add to the already large problem.

How can Columbia County justify spending $100,000 to $300,000 on a study? They have already stated there will be no cap put on this study. The county needs more policemen, (Sheriff Clay Whittle was turned down for more deputies), more firemen, more paraprofessionals and teacher pay raises. Columbia County already has numerous vacant strip shopping centers that could be used as a convention or conference center.

I was appalled after reading 80 percent of the public was in favor of "some sort of development." The statements were purposely misinterpreted -- a boldfaced lie -- but just enough in the gray area to get by with a pro instead of a con. Most wanted the park improved but not the way it was presented to the public. Most wanted existing park facilities improved, with enough electric power so the campers' air conditioning units don't go out or the lights flicker.

Let's also have remodeled bathrooms, nature trails, horseback riding trails -- not condos, hotels, a golf course or a convention/conference center.

I enjoy watching the deer come to drink across the creek in the evenings as I sit on the dock. I can watch all the golf I want on TV. I can play at Rocky Creek 15 minutes away or any number of courses in the Central Savannah River Area.

My main question is what happens to the wildlife of Wildwood? Where do they move? To extinction? A golf course would only add to the pollution of our ground water and lake water. If the developers really want to help Columbia County, why not use their money to improve existing facilities?...

How much more in taxes can Columbia County residents stand? Let's put our study money where it is needed, in our roads, our children, our protection (fire and police). Leave Wildwood alone! ...

Paige Gavalas, Appling

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