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Paris Mayor AJ Hashmi gave an overview Monday night of the Paris City Council’s thoughts about future development of Lake Crook.
The mayor’s presentation followed several weeks of attacks by critics, led by Dr. Richard Swint, who have alleged the council has designs on selling Lake Crook to outside developers and possibly selling water from the lake. Swint said city leaders have a history of making bad decisions and what the council was planning for Lake Crook was another boondoggle in the making.
For more than a year, City of Paris planner Alan Efrussy has been developing plans for a systematic development of Lake Crook, including a portion of the property for resorts, residential and commercial development, in addition to recreation and other activities normally associated with a lake project.
As soon as Hashmi finished his presentation, the council proceeded to the next item on the agenda. It was a discussion item only — not an action item.
Following is the Power Point presentation the mayor gave Monday night regarding the City Council’s thoughts about future Lake Crook development:
In January, Swint and his wife made a $100,000 donation for development of the lake, which the council happily accepted, and the mayor announced he was adding a $10,000 donation of his own.
Afterward, Swint noted that he made the donation with the condition that Lake Crook Park be developed without paid architects, planners or developers. The city’s acceptance of the donation rules out bringing in outside developers, he said.
The council balked at that, and there was consideration for returning the Swints’ contribution. Hashmi said his understanding was that the Swints intended their donation to be used for park land development — not the entire Lake Crook project.
During three recent City Council meetings, Swint and his followers have addressed the council during Citizens Forum, pushing for a voice by citizens in the process. Any decision that would lead to outside development of Lake Crook should be put to a vote of the people, Swint said.
Hashmi has said he interpreted the Swints’ donation, and the conditions attached to it, referred to the part of Lake Crook that is planned for park development, not the entire lake property.
By Charles Richards, eParisExtra