Our Readers Respond

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Letters to the Pilot

Destination Park has golf and boat bugs to work out


The Destination Park concept is the most exciting thing to be proposed for Storm Lake in many years. The local groups that have worked on this and Dave Ciaccio are to be congratulated for their efforts.

For all its good points, it comes up short in three areas.

The two most glaring weaknesses are in Mr. Ciaccio's lack of expertise regarding golf and boats. The Municipal Golf Course is not broke and the proposed changes not only would be very expensive, but they would not fix anything. Regarding the proposal to convert much of the northeast corner of the existing golf course into private property (a bad idea and a bad precedent), this would not only require much expensive infrastructure to be built, possibly right through the existing course, but the success of such a venture is doubtful. People would want townhouses or other dwellings in that area about as much as Mr. Ciaccio wants to put the lodge there. In this area people want to be near the water. I doubt that Lake Creek would be anything like it is if it were not for the water there. Most golf course housing developments are planned and built together. Retrofitting housing into a nine hole golf course will not work very well. Any major changes to the Municipal course would likely have a negative effect on the availability of the course to local golfers for at least one season.

Visitors to either the Lodge or the proposed cabins will want to have boats handy. This is going to require a substantial marina in the area, something not mentioned in the proposal. I recall a number of trips to Minnesota and Wisconsin in which my selection of a place to stay was dependent on the availability of a boat, either one I could rent or one that came with the cabin I stayed at. To have such boats available would add to the draw of the Lodge and cabins. Some visitors would bring their own boats and want to have a convenient place to keep them while they are here. The DNR should be involved in working out these boating issues.

The last item I feel needs further consideration is that of the lake shore itself, not just at the Destination Park, but by all of the public parks and property. When I am out boating during the summer, is see a huge contrast between public and private property. Most of the lake shore bordering private property not only is cleared of ugly volunteer growth but it also has natural granite and other attractive rocks whereas the public lake shore looks ugly with its recycled road concrete and uncontrolled brush and trees.

As I understand it, Mr. Ciaccio would replace the concrete with nice rock in the area of the Lodge and cabins, but only clear away the trees that block the view of the lake from the other parks. To be sure it's like having a fine painting with a frame made of 2 by 4's.

It will be a great day when the Destination Park moves from the proposal stage to reality and will be worthy of much celebration.

- Robert Wilson, Storm Lake

A front for lakefront control?


My question on the subject of the Destination State Park is "Do we need more housing near the lake, or is this a front for obtaining private ownership and control of more of the lakefront?

- Alan Bridge, Storm Lake

Surviving another scam


One of the oldest rip-off scams has a new twist and is showing its ugly head again in Iowa. Recently, criminals mass e-mailed consumers reporting the FDIC would no longer insure bank deposits unless you responded to the e-mail with all of your personal, private financial information.

This e-mail is a scam. It was an attempt to steal information and money from an unsuspecting public. The FDIC and banks would not ask you for personal, private information in a blanket e-mail.

As criminals become more brazen and as technology offers crooks additional opportunities, you need to be extra prepared. It is amazing how otherwise intelligent people are willing to trust a stranger on the phone or by e-mail as opposed to people they've done business with for years.

If you receive an unsolicited e-mail or suspicious phone call from a stranger, tell your banker or the authorities (local police or Iowa Attorney General's office) right away. Police and bankers work together to catch cons.

We bankers work hard to ensure the safety and steady growth of your money. We also try to offer you more opportunity through savings and investments. Most importantly, we work to develop a long-term, trusting relationship with our customers. Don't get caught by a stranger trying to take what you've worked so hard for - your financial security.

- Tim Brown, Central Bank, Storm Lake