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Letter: Keep private boat lifts, docks off park property

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By Deborah Lien Bierbaum and Phyllis M. Wolff, Slater Park neighbors, Worthington

We own a home across the street from the Slater Park boat landing on South Shore Drive in Worthington. We have always enjoyed watching the changing seasons and the related activities on and around Lake Okabena.

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Unfortunately, for the last few years, the Worthington City Council has allowed the storage of privately owned docks, large boat lifts and boat houses in Slater Park during the late fall, winter and spring, instead of requiring storage on the owner’s property or “off-site.”

If the owner doesn’t want to look at their own structures through the off-season on his own property, these structures should be in a storage facility or on land designated as a storage site — not in Slater Park.

The parks around Lake Okabena are owned by the taxpayers and citizens of this community for their enjoyment and use in all seasons, not just the summer. These large structures, some 10 to 20 feet high, are blocking the Slater Park public vehicle parking area and access to the lake during the late fall, winter and spring.

What is the City of Worthington’s liability if a child is injured climbing on these structures in the public park? What if these large metal unsecured structures damage private homes/property near the park in the case of high winds, which are common in this area? Does the city have any liability for allowing this?

Last but not least, these structures are an eyesore for all of the people who use and enjoy Slater Park and Lake Okabena.

The city of Worthington seems to be setting a troubling precedent in allowing this park to become a storage site for seven to eight months a year. Please stop allowing our city parks to become a “dump ground” for off-season private property.

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