Burlington Commons issue resolved
BURLINGTON — A Fayette Township Trustees meeting was held Monday evening at the Fayette Township Fire Department in which the issue on who exactly is in control of the Burlington Commons Park was finally resolved.
Before the conclusion of the meeting, a motion was made to leave the park the way it was with the Concerned Citizens continuing to maintain the park. The only difference is that now, money to rent park shelters will be made payable to the township trustees instead of the Concerned Citizens of Burlington.
The Concerned Citizens of Burlington, a volunteer group started in 1981, has taken care of the Burlington Commons Park since being formed.
They also handled the money brought in through renting out the park, although the trustees pay the bills. Recently, the trustees voiced that they felt rentals should go through them.
Ed Moellendick, president of the Concerned Citizens, addressed the trustees at the meeting with the issues that he had over the disagreement.
“… To be honest, we cannot believe or understand why you, the trustees, feel that there needed to be a change in how our park, the Commons, was managed and operated. If only we would have had a meaningful exchange of ideas, there would not have been the issue that has come between our two groups,” he said to the trustees.
“… Although your signatures are on the checks that pay the bills, it is the Fayette Township’s taxpayers who furnish the funds that support the park. Also, the Concerned Citizens have invested thousands of dollars into the Commons’ development.”
With the Lawrence County Commissioners in a maintenance agreement with the Fayette Township trustees since 2008, the trustees were seeking a management agreement over the park, which would give them control of the renting of the park.
“A lot of people have worked for years and years to make the Commons park what it is,” Edna McClain, Burlington resident and treasurer of the Concerned Citizens, said. “Right now, we have a personality conflict on what’s going on.”
Although all money that comes in through park rentals goes back to the park, Moellendick feels the money should continue going through the Concerned Citizens while the trustees believe that it is illegal and that the money should go through them.
McClain knows how important the trustees are to the Concerned Citizens.
“The commissioners own the land, the trustees manage it and the Concerned Citizens do the volunteer work. The Concerned Citizens can’t do anything without the trustees,” McClain said. “We wouldn’t even be a group without them. We’re talking about less than $400 a year.”