Lawton Council Sours On Elmer Thomas Park Sports Complex
For the last few months, the question at hand has been "Is the city council going to approve the sports complex project?" It was uncertain since it's been a somewhat unpopular idea given the status of roads and infrastructure in Lawton, but that question has now changed.
It's no longer "if" the city council will approve the project, but rather "Where will the sports complex be built?"
You have to read between the lines in the article that was published on the topic. If you're under the age of 65, you likely missed it since it was published in a newspaper... so retro... but it paints a picture that the Lawton city council will approve the contested sports complex, they apparently just don't want it to be located in Elmer Thomas Park.
While the proposed location of the new Lawton sports complex has been a big part of why people are so against it, it's really the fact that this town needs so many necessities before hopping into a multi-million-dollar project in a bad location... but that's not the headline.
When this project was first pitched in late 2021, it was a lot cheaper. After nine months of inflation, the surge in building material prices, labor shortages, etc... the new projected cost of this complex is nearly $30million.
As sections of Gore, Cache, and Rogers Lane are starting to feel more like the potholed roller coaster that is Lee Boulevard, it seems that our local politicians want to spend your money on their own personal legacy projects rather than what is actually needed by citizens.
When Ward 3 city councilor Linda Chapman told the Constitution that she was "one-hundred percent" in support of building the sports complex, but not in the park, this opens a new door for our council to start spending money on even more real estate.
If I owned a piece of Lawton big enough to accommodate a sports complex and I also knew they were seeking a place to put a sports complex, I would squeeze the city coffers as much as possible. That's just business.
Seeing how much the city paid for the mall, that $30million estimate is only going to grow higher and higher as the quality of life and tax representation continues to shrink in our crumbling town.
This would normally be the part where I'm supposed to talk about the importance of the democratic process and why you should vote in local elections... but year after year Lawton's overwhelming young adults choose to skip the polls, letting Baby Boomers and the last survivors of the Greatest Generation determine who gets to run the town.
That's not a dig at Boomers or our valued elderly population... it's a realistic shot at the politically disconnected and apathetic youth.
If only tweets and instagram updates meant more than impotent opinions...
So let me tell you how this is going to go. Those born between 1965 and 2004 will continue to complain everywhere that isn't relevant, and the city council and mayor's office will push this project to completion well beyond the projected deadline and budget cap... and the whines will continue by those who still won't care enough to get involved.
Such is life.