Residents near Lakeview Elementary have been looking forward to a completed park for some time. This week I have received a host of emails concerning the park. Some emails have expressed frustration, some have hinted at unfair treatment but all have asked the status of the completion. With this in mind I share the following:
At the inception it was known that the City did not have the resources to complete this park. Rather than pass on the project, it was determined to use a phased approach. The total cost of construction was estimated at $1.3 million dollars. A substantial investment!
For a number of years the City has not budgeted money for new parks and has been using park impact fees (generated by new construction) to fund park projects. Unfortunately, the downturn in the residential construction industry has left the park impact fee fund way short (about half) of what is needed to build the park, so that is why the park is unfinished.
Phase I of the project was bid out in August of 2009 and they completed the rough grade, parking lots, concrete pathways, fencing and other underground utility work by October 2010. This past Fall, the Parks Construction Crew installed the irrigation main lines and lateral lines until the project needed to be shut down for the winter due to the weather. When the weather breaks this spring, this same Parks Construction Crew will add additional topsoil to the site, perform the fine grade, install the irrigation heads, controllers, test the system and hydroseed the area. Based on the anticipated budget balance and any new park impact fees collected, bid documents will be prepared this winter for the restrooms, playground and tennis courts. The plan is to construct as many park amenities at Lakeview Park as the funds will allow throughout 2011. Unless a large chunk of park impact fee funding or some other funding source comes into the City, the phased approach will continue most likely through 2012 before the park is completed.