August 10, 2022 |

Saratoga Town Council is moving forward with Never Forget Memorial Park despite a land swap falling through last month on a 3-2 vote. A piece of private property associated with the swap would have made the park slightly bigger.

Last week, Mayor Creed James said he is still working with the owner of the strip of land adjacent to the park about options involving the parcel.

Pictured above: File photo of vacant lot adjacent to Veteran’s Island park near the Saratoga Hot Springs Resort. Photo by Bigfoot 99.

If included with the park, the parcel would improve parking, as well as ingress and egress, for visitors to memorial of a fallen war hero who are driving larger vehicles and RVs.

Despite the outpouring of residents to a public hearing last month who spoke against the swap, Mayor Creed James said he has spoken to residents since then who expressed disappointment that the town did not move forward with the land deal.

Mayor James compared the slow and grinding effort to build the park with the lengthy legal battle over another contested piece of town property on the other side of Saratoga. Both issues began during the administration of then-Mayor John Zeiger’s administration, and soon became bogged down. The contest with Randy Stevens went to court, where it sill is. The memorial park to Staff Sgt. Tyler Pickett languished and went nowhere.

Councilman Jon Nelson assured the public that the park is not dead because the land swap fell through. All that’s lost, Nelson said, is a row of parking spaces. Nothing else of significance changes.

The park’s steering committee met last week to discuss possible changes to the park’s layout given its smaller size after the land deal fell through.

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