Members of Fraternal Order of Police in Grand Island oppose plans for veterans' home land
The Grand Island City Council is preparing to talk about a master plan for what could be developed once the city's veterans' home moves to Kearney.
The council said the new plan will cost $95 million dollars.
However, one Grand Island police officer said he's against it because of the cuts already made to law enforcement.
"This overall plan is a once in a generational opportunity," said Grand Island’s Mayor Jeremy Jensen.
The discussion over what will soon become an empty piece of property continues.
"I don't know where the source of money is coming from. All I know is that it's $95 million dollars and it has to come from somewhere. And before we can have nice things, we need to cover our bases and public safety is one of the essentials that this community needs, that this community requires,” said President of the Fraternal Order of Police #24 Jarret Daugherty.
The master plan includes the splash park that is currently under construction within the veterans athletic complex, as well as space for new businesses. However, Jensen said they're not cutting from the needs of the community.
"There's no way we can do that. We have to provide a certain amount of city services for that and we have to fit everything else towards that," Jensen said.
The city said they also plan to expand Eagle Scout Lake into two large open water areas that will allow visitors to kayak and canoe.
"I looked at the plan briefly and the largest majority of the land use is going to be parks department property. That's city owned property and that property and those big additions in structure and property require essential services. People aren't going to go to those ball and soccer fields and those memorial parks if they don't feel safe in the first place, “Daugherty said.
Jensen said the plan is going to be paid for through a public-private partnership.
“So let’s make it really clear right here right now, we are not going to get rid of 10 cops or five firemen to make sure we develop the veterans’ home. Never has been an option and never will be, so let’s put it to bed right now," Jensen said.
Tuesday night a city council meeting is scheduled to further discuss the plan.