11/07/06 — Alliance seeking input on park plan

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Alliance seeking input on park plan

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on November 7, 2006 1:45 PM

Plans for a revamped Stoney Creek Park have been discussed for months now and an alliance has been formed.

Now, its board members say it is time to let the public chime in -- again.

The Stoney Creek Park Alliance will host a public forum Thursday to give Goldsboro and Wayne County residents a chance to voice concerns and congratulations to project planners. The meeting, slated for a 7 p.m. start, will be held in the Gray Room at Herman Park Center.

Alliance member D.J. Coles said he hopes the gathering also will provide an opportunity for community members to be a part of the process.

"This park will be a project that will bring the community together," he said. "I want this project to happen not just because of one person -- not just one entity -- but because of everybody."

To achieve that goal, Coles said alliance members will discuss what has been accomplished in recent months and ask for input and volunteers.

"I want (residents) to be excited and to have a positive attitude about this venture," he said. "I'm very excited about our direction, and I really feel like this park could be the centerpiece for Goldsboro."

City Council member Bob Waller agreed. He also sits on the alliance board and said the meeting is as much about a call to action as it is disclosure.

Those in attendance Thursday will see everything project planners have seen and "find out where we are right now," he added.

"We're going to encourage people to join the alliance," Waller said. "This is a community project, so we're going to need community input and community help."

Preliminary plans for the park include a 6-acre lake, walking and biking trails and garden space. Officials hope grant money and donations will cover the estimated $2 million price tag.

But Coles said the meeting also will provide residents with an opportunity to offer new ideas that fit into the vision outlined by the 10-person alliance.

"The one thing I love about (the alliance) is that we're unified and we all have a shared vision," he said. "I look forward to having other people contribute to that vision."

The Stoney Creek Park Alliance is chaired by committee, one that includes City Manager Joe Huffman, Recreation and Parks director Neil Bartlett, Stoney Creek Park Development Committee chairman Dr. Peter Roethling, Besty Wharton, Burl Braden, Simonne Cato, Donnie Barnes and Sissy Lee-Elmore, Waller and Coles.