Daniel Walker, who lives on Maple Avenue near the park, said he and his wife are against building the facility there. Especially during the construction of the new civic center, they need to be able to use the park so "that we can escape that construction," he said.
"The project would forever alter the beautiful park," he said.
Mr. Walker cited earthquakes, the "potential for unpleasant smells" and ongoing maintenance costs as risks.
Julie Quinlan said she worries the project "will be a financial albatross to the town" and asked the council to consider what it might cost to decommission it at the end of its estimated 50-year lifespan. "I really encourage you to look at alternatives and not put this in Holbrook-Palmer," she said.
Grant Bowers, who lives on McCormick Lane, said his family uses the park daily. "The idea of building this facility at this size and scale ... in our view is really something unacceptable," he said. "There have to be simpler green methods," such as bioswales to clean the water, he said. "Why are we capturing these pollutants in the park?"
Sandy Crittenden said he feels the project "is way too expensive, regardless of who pays for it."
"There are better solutions," he said, adding that he and others would be willing to help pay for them.
Council members said they will wait until the preliminary plans for the facility are brought back to them and hope they help answer residents' questions.
"I think there is a misunderstanding of what this is and what it will do," said council member Bill Widmer. "I think we need to do a better job of communicating the facts concisely."
"We have to think about every move related to this project," said Mayor Cary Wiest. "We heard from neighbors in the project areas," and know they want more information, he said.
"We want to make the right decision, but we want to be informed," Mayor Wiest said.
The project should come back to the council with the preliminary design completed in April or May. At that point, the council will decide if it wants to continue with the process.
This story contains 432 words.
Stories older than 90 days are available only to subscribing members. Please help sustain quality local journalism by becoming a subscribing member today.
If you are already a subscriber, please log in so you can continue to enjoy unlimited access to stories and archives. Subscriptions start at $5 per month and may be cancelled at any time.