Opponent of Parks and Rec bonds begins collecting signature on petition

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Wednesday was the first day to sign a petition calling for a public vote on $10 million in Shawnee Co. Parks and Recreation bonds.

Carol Marple created the petition and went out Wednesday afternoon collecting signatures outside of the Farmer's Market. She says the public should decide whether the county should issue the bonds for the Park and Rec bonds.

Shawnee Co. commissioners voted two-to-one last month to approve them.

The money would go to parks improvements and building a new facility near SW 21st and Urish Rd. that would include 20 new pickleball courts, trails, restrooms, and more.

"So that park will be built unless we can put it on the ballot. And it still might be built if people approve it. But this gives us a choice. You know we are going to pay for this. The taxpayers. And we deserve to have a choice where $10 million is being spent," Marple said.

The needs 5,460 signatures for a public vote. Anyone wanting to sign the petition can call Marple at 785-221-2306.

Co. Commissioner Bob Archer said the petition "could mean a death warrant for the Deer Creek Trail in East Topeka." He pointed out only a million dollars of the total goes to the pickleball courts.

Two million dollars will be used to match a state grant for the Deer Creek Trail. Archer says if the county doesn't identify the money, they could lose the grant, which would mean no trails.