The first thing the City Council wants to see implemented as part of the new parks master plan is the construction of two rectangular multi-use fields in the back acreage of Brook Run Park.
Mayor Denis Shortal and the council agreed at the Aug. 14 council meeting the new fields, costing about $2.5 million, should be priority No. 1, followed closely by a $1.3 million update to the park’s Great Lawn area.
The priority recommendations came from Councilmember Terry Nall and if approved would be planned to be completed within three years.
Total estimated costs for all of the additions and renovations to Brook Run Park come in at $8.5 million, according to the parks master plan presented to the council at the Aug. 14 meeting.
An actual vote on the priority list is yet to come, however.
Steve Provost of jB+A, consultants for the parks master plan, presented the council with a project list, estimated costs and concept designs for all the city’s parks. It offered a stark contrast with the master plan draft presented last month that was soundly criticized by councilmembers for lack of detail. It included such new details as cost estimates.
The $2.5 million for the new fields in Brook Run includes construction of a concession stand and new restroom and additional parking. The $1.3 million for the Great Lawn includes a pavilion, a bandstand and a restroom.
Total cost for the top two priorities comes in at an estimated $3.8 million —more than the approximate $3 million remaining from the city’s 2015 parks bond settlement with DeKalb County, according to Finance Director Chris Pike.
But it’s enough to get started, said Councilmember Doug Thompson.
“We’ve been sitting on that money for a couple years. It’s time to get going,” he said.
Most of the focus of the parks master plan discussed Aug. 14 centered on Brook Run Park. The only major change from what was proposed was that council members asked for a water feature to be installed linking to the Great Lawn area rather than a new Veterans Memorial Plaza and Garden.
Shortal said he preferred the Veterans Memorial remain where it is despite future plans for basketball and tennis courts to be build adjacent to that plot of land.
Mid-term projects for Brook Run Park are estimated to be completed in four to six years.
Councilmembers appear to agree to about $3.63 million in projects, including:
- Adding a restroom at the dding a restroom at the dog park ($320,000)
- Trail system additions ($200,000)
- Play field community garden ($60,000)
- Disc golf ($150,000)
- Maintenance yard ($300,000)
- Arboretum ($1.1 million)
- Basketball/tennis courts ($1.5 million)
Provost also showed council members proposed plans for other city parks.
Winwood Hollow Park’s short and mid-term estimated costs come in at $800,000 and proposals include a new $350,000 tennis court, a new $250,000 restroom, $120,000 for paved paths and $50,000 for mulch trails as well as $30,000 for park signage.
No concept plans for the Austin Elementary School site are proposed because public input is needed before anything is decided.
The council quickly shot down a proposal to spend $165,000 in fencing around Vernon Oaks Park.