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No to a park on the Wallace South Hill

| March 29, 2021 4:05 PM

I am writing this letter to voice my absolute opposition to the proposal to have the city of Wallace purchase land on the south hill from Chuck Jones and Ryder Gauteraux to turn this land into a park.

The city of Wallace could use more parks, but it needs more parks on the flatland of the valley floor where they are more easily accessible by the elderly population. The city could also benefit from more parks with playgrounds for the young children to enjoy – this would not be accomplished by this “proposed” sale.

The south hill in its current state, is barely accessible to the citizens who live there. It is not designed to handle a large influx of traffic a park of this scale could bring. It would take millions of dollars of upgrades to bring the roads up to an acceptable level to handle the increased traffic and be adequately accessible to emergency services that would be needed for such a park.

I believe the city could make better use of their finite means by getting the pool operating again and continue to make upgrades that benefit the most people, than step into this tax drain that would benefit only two people.

Chuck Jones and Ryder Gauteraux bought this land, knowing it was land locked, and thinking they could bully or just bulldoze a path to it. They have proven to not have the best interests of Wallace in mind, and have proven that they will ignore the laws when it suits them. Last year, they illegally cut a road through other people’s properties, and have created an eyesore on the east side of the hill. They are now attempting to trick the city into building them access to their properties, so they don’t have to. This is an attempt to bamboozle the public with a shiny new park — when their real agenda is to leverage the city to grant them access to this property so they can create an eyesore for their own amusement.

There are plenty of places and land they can develop in this area that would not ruin the charm that the south hill brings Wallace. My family has lived in Wallace for more than 100 years, and on the south hill for nearly as long. I would hope that I speak for everyone living up here that we do not want this proposed park pursued.

I think if Chuck Jones and Ryder Gauteraux are genuine in their desire to not upset the people of this area, they will donate this land to the city for the city to keep as undeveloped forest land — not as a public park. I also know there are private citizens that will gladly buy this land at a fair price for this same purpose. I think that any solution short of this will only reinforce the public’s correct belief that these two carpet baggers are here only to molest the area for their own benefit.

I am asking the Shoshone County Board of Commissioners and the Mayor and City Council of Wallace to do what they can to protect the hillsides around Wallace, and not fall into this trap of an offer.

JOSH E. CANTAMESSA

Wallace