Public Input on Active Features
Last spring the Board of Commissioners (BOC) asked the Livability Board and staff to look at existing town-owned sites that might be suitable for active recreation. The chief deficiency we found when completing our Parks & Recreation master plan was active amenities. We believe finding a balance between open space and active elements is particularly difficult on the west side of our community, where we have focused our park acquisition on lake access.
The Lakeside parcel, among several other sites, was identified as a possibility for active recreation amenities. The parks subcommittee of the Livability Board worked with a landscape architect to develop several options that might be feasible, given the topography. All of the sites were presented and discussed with the BOC at the August 8, 2017 (4:00 p.m.) meeting. The meeting concluded with the BOC, Livability Board, and staff recommending public input as the next step.
Following a period of accepting comments online, the next step will be for the parks subcommittee to review all public comments and consider taking a recommendation to the full Livability Board. Only at that point will the Livability Board and staff make a recommendation to the BOC.
Roosevelt Wilson Park (RWP): The town has dedicated a majority of its annual park maintenance/small improvements funding ($100,000) to RWP since 2013. The town also received a community grant from Lowe's for reconstruction of the boardwalk. The remaining projects to be completed are to add a play feature ($80,000 is allocated) and to repair/replace the picnic shelter. We are committed to adding a fitting memorial to Mr. Roosevelt Wilson and Mr. Sam Whiltey, who built the park, and others who were instrumental in providing parks and recreation opportunities particularly in the African American community, as part of the shelter project. We have funding in this year's operating budget for this project, and will soon convene as citizen committee to work on this project. The sketches below represent virtually all active elements (a climbing wall was considered at one point in lieu of the Ga-Ga pit) that fit in the space. Rather than removing any of the existing amenities, the Livability Board suggested we consider all to allow discussion for what to remove and/or replace. We know we cannot accommodate all of these elements in the park, but list them for citizen input.
Lakeside Parcel: This parcel was purchased through the Land Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), so it must be used for parks and recreation purposes. The only exception is if the town wishes to go through what is called a “conversion” process, which is fairly lengthy and requires approval by both the state and the National Park Service. To gain that approval the town must show that “all possible alternatives have been examined and are not possible” and then identify a parcel of equal or higher land value that serves the same community. There is no identified funding for this site/project. Potential funding sources include: community development block grants (CDBG), Parks & Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF), operating budget, CIP budget, bond referendum, and/or partnerships. As you can see there are topographical challenges and the parcel is relatively small.
Comments can be sent via email to Kathryn Spatz, Director of the Psrks and Recreation Department, at email@example.com or by calling the Parks and Recreation Department at 704-892-3349.