The City of Blair recently put 5 acres of land up for sale which it had purchased from the Blair YMCA in 2013. There are two parcels just east of the YMCA facility that make up the 5 acres. While it’s true that the city could always use some extra cash, we hope the possibility for community development of that land would be considered before making the sale.
When the city purchased the land originally, it did so with the thought that there could be ballfields there someday. No one knew at that time what was going to happen to the ballfields at Dana which have been used by the city there for decades. Fast forward to now, and the city now owns those fields, so that possible need is gone.
However, consideration should be given to how else that land could be developed. Envision for a moment the possibility of a new swimming pool, a running/walking trail, junior-sized soccer fields and maybe even flag football fields. There could even be a fun disc golf course designed to weave through that land and some of the land that the YMCA currently has that is sitting vacant.
Should the city decide to upgrade their 1930s swimming pool, what better place than next to the YMCA? There’s plenty of room for it, and some of the land currently for sale could be used for parking as well as other activities.
An Enterprise poll in 2018 showed 70 percent of those that participated would favor a new pool or splash pad complex. Maybe there wouldn’t be a need for a full outdoor pool with lap lanes and a diving area because those needs could be fulfilled at the YMCA’s indoor pool. A smaller outdoor pool, along with a splash pad system could possibly save millions while still fulfilling Blair’s needs.
Blair already has a great park system, nice playgrounds and a few miles of trails for walking, running and biking. But an additional community activity hub could make Blair stand out just a little more than other area communities that are all vying for new residents. Gretna recently announced a longterm vision to develop 80 acres into a giant park with disc golf, fishing pond, an amphitheater and even a dog park. While Blair doesn’t need an 80-acre mega-park, a nice 5-acre community hub area could make a lot of sense.