My neighbor, more alert than I, sent me some information recently.
Just so that you know: Blandair is taking all the dirt from constuction and placing it in the area for the planned Blandair parking lot. On Timesweep, they take the gate down at the park entry after everybody leaves and the dump truck starts running back and forth. A pile of dirt is sitting 150 feet in on the left.
This little area, where the stub end of Timesweep Lane meets Blandair Park, has been the focus of controversy in my neighborhood for quite some time now. I wrote about it most recently in April. Before that, I expressed some unpopular views here.
I believe that there are some residents who have a deep distrust of Rec and Parks which colors anything they see going on with Blandair. Add to that people who just don't like change, and observant folks who keep an eye out for the neighborhood, and then something like a pile of dirt is going to come under some serious scrutiny.
I reached out to Councilman Calvin Ball to see what I could find out. This is his response:
I appreciate you reaching out and passing along these concerns. I've talked with our Recreation & Parks representatives to confirm they have no intention of developing the area near Timesweep into a parking lot. You are correct that they are stock piling top soil, which you may recall was done previously.
While excavating the interchange which will be constructed off Route 175, contractors uncovered a useful supply of top soil. Rather than dispose of it which could be used on Phase 2 to help grow grass, they are stock piling off Timesweep to be used on Phase 2.
Here endeth the mystery of the pile of dirt. Topsoil is valuable. They'll be able to use it when they get to planting grass during Phase 2. In the meantime they need a place to put it. I am okay with that.
However, I haven't gotten out of my comfy chair and out of the air conditioning recently to pay that little spot a visit. And I'm not okay with that. I feel a sense of responsibility for that abandoned "non-entrance" to Blandair Park. I wish that it could be better than it is.
If you read the comments on my earlier blogs on this topic, you'll see that many are fueled by anger and negativity. I mean, people are really, really angry. "Make up a name and troll her" angry. I still don't see the point of that. Strong neighborhood associations are great. Observant and informed neighbors are great.
But when the conversation tilts from wanting to be involved to believing that we are under attack, something has gone wrong.
Anyway, I think my neighbor just wants to know what on earth is going on. And luckily for me, I have Calvin Ball for questions like this.