Stop Sludge Dumping, Re-open River Trails at Don Davidson Park

Fayetteville Public Utilities has been using the property on the bypass for 21 years for dumping sludge. The site is ill-suited for this due to its location in a flood plain and its proximity to the Elk River, wetlands, playing fields, and two schools. After being tested for heavy metals and other potentially dangerous toxins, the entire area should be cleaned up, certified safe, and dedicated for paths and recreation such as hiking, fishing, and biking. The trails could be used to attract people to Fayetteville and generate tax revenue for the recreation department. They could  be used to encourage families to be more active. And they could be used to teach children about environment and biology. 
We the undersigned want the city: (1) to stop leasing the land next to Don Davidson Park for sludge dumping, (2) to ensure that the land on the sludge site and in the adjacent park is safe by having an independent lab check for dangerous sludge ingredients, and (3) to remove the barriers and re-open the trails that have been closed in recent months. We understand that FPU has leased the site next to the park from the city for 21 years for sludge dumping. We support the Friends of Path and RIver in this effort to beautify our city by reclaiming the 120 acres for biking, walking, and fishing.  We want to showcase this beautiful riverside property and create a more appealing entrance to our town. The trails, totally created and maintained by volunteers, feature ancient trees, wildlife, wetlands, woods, and meadow loops. Our citizens deserve a beautiful place to walk in nature. The Park could be something for our community to be proud of. Support of the trails could prove more lucrative for the city than the $4075 paid by FPU each year to lease the land. Prior to their closure, the paths drew many visitors to our community.  Thanks for reading our letter.
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