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Letter: I was wrong about Arbor Park

To the editor,

Since coming on to the City Council in 2012, I have supported development downtown to increase tax revenue for the city and to attract economic development necessary for higher wages. And then, one night at council, I gave my vote to the passionate folks arguing to "save" the park.

My vote was wrong.

The Arbor Lot is one of three pocket parks connected by the "Alley of Love" between Urban Stampede and Rhombus Guys' Pizza. All of this is less than a block away from the Greenway, which is twice the size of New York City's Central Park. Pocket parks and green space are terribly important for downtowns. That's true. But we have an overabundance in that area.

Instead of underutilized green space we need people. People support business, and business activity helps pay for essential city services. This is also a public safety issue: crowds of people make green spaces safer and more fun.

Development downtown will bring more people, excitement and business to the other pocket parks and to our whole downtown. Development will also add $72,100,000 to the tax rolls over the next 99 years, as opposed to continued expense. It makes good economic sense.

I will be voting against the continued expense of excessive green space. My vote will be cast on behalf of the best interest of the whole city, and especially downtown businesses and local artists. I'll be voting "no," because I want Grand Forks "to grow."

Bret Weber

Grand Forks City Council

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