12/02/08 — Council reviews Stoney Creek Park plan

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Council reviews Stoney Creek Park plan

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on December 2, 2008 1:46 PM

More than a million dollars will likely be needed to develop Stoney Creek Park into the greenspace the alliance supporting the park project envisions, Goldsboro City Council members learned Monday.

The cost projection, prepared by consulting and architectural firm Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc., was presented to council members along with the park plan.

Site work and utilities would take up the bulk of the more than $1 million Stoney Creek Park price tag at an estimated $611,050.

Park amenities would add in another $237,700, and miscellaneous items would take up another $97,500.

Add in a 10 percent contingency amount of $94,625, a 5 percent mobilization/general conditions bill of $47,312.50 and $87,055 in engineering and landscaping consulting fees, and the project total is up to $1,175,242.50.

But, the total costs show the best of the best, Parks and Recreation director Sonya Shaw said.

"This is if everything was done top-notch, top-dollar," she told the council. "Can it be done for less? Yes."

City Manager Joe Huffman said that he was "really blown away by the projected costs."

"I had no idea it would be this much," he said.

Councilman Bob Waller noted that the park doesn't have to cost a million dollars.

"On these estimates, there are a lot of things we can do without," he said.

The alliance plans to file an application for the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant, which could provide a maximum of $500,000, before the deadline in early February. The alliance hasn't yet decided on the amount it will be asking for in the grant because members are waiting on the City Council to give a specific number on how much it will match in funds. The PARTF grant requires equal matching funds on all money awarded.

The council also took a look at the park's final site plan, which included both the large and small dog parks on either side of Durant Street and farther away from residences; a welcome center and restroom area near the corner of Randolph and Ash streets; a donor monument by the welcome center; several seating and gathering areas scattered throughout the park; a children's play area; a disc golf course in the middle of the park; a wetlands education area; a new parking area off of Ash Street; interpretive and community garden areas throughout the park; and a Spanish oak identification area.

But council members decided to take time to look over the plan and the cost projections before making a decision, likely at the Dec. 15 council meeting.

Council members weren't sure when the public forum was scheduled for the final site plan, but after Mrs. Shaw told them it is scheduled for Dec. 9 at 6 p.m. at Herman Park Center, they agreed that was a good time since it offered the public an opportunity to speak on the final site plan before the council made its decision.

"We want to hear what the public has to say about the final plan," Councilman Chuck Allen said. "The public is due the right to comment on it. ... Maybe they will have a great idea that makes us change something in the park."

The alliance has held other public forums on a preliminary site plan, but a consultant that works with the PARTF grant says the committee that awards it would look more highly on the alliance if it held a public meeting on the final site plan.

The Recreation and Parks Advisory Commission will also have an opportunity to look at and give the OK on the final site plan at its meeting -- also on Dec. 9.

The council had a few other items on its plate Monday, including deciding to downgrade the voluntary water restrictions to normal use.

Public Utilities director Karen Brashear told the council that Wayne County was out of the abnormally dry category on the U.S. Drought Monitor, and that the levels of the Neuse River are doing well.

And when she asked if the voluntary restrictions could be dropped, Mayor Al King responded, "I love it. Yes. Absolutely."

During its regular session, the council approved all consent agenda items that included an animal ordinance amendment to allow those in annexed areas to keep horses, mules, ponies, donkeys, cattle, sheep, goats or domestic fowl within the city limits without meeting the city's distance requirement of 200 yards from any dwelling, hospital, school, church or eating establishment. The ordinance would not allow swine in the annexed areas, and any property with swine would have to be brought into compliance with the ordinance within 90 days of the official annexation date. If the animal or animals were removed from the property for a period of time longer than 180 consecutive days, the animals could only return to the property if the property meets the 200-yard distance requirement.

One of the consent agenda items was recommended for denial by the Goldsboro Plan-ning Commission, and council members approved that denial for a site plan for the Isler House, a group home facility that would serve children, on South Franklin Street. The planning commission denied the plan, stating that the facility would be too close to another facility of that type. The spacing requirement is 1,320 feet from one such facility to another, and Isler House would be 550 feet away from meeting that requirement.

A site and landscape plan for retail stores on 601 E. Elm St. was removed from the agenda and will be discussed at a later date.

In other business, the council set a public hearing date for a sign ordinance amendment that would allow illumination of signs in the office-residence zoning district and discussed budget amendments and the purchase of a refuse truck.

The following council meetings were also rescheduled -- the Jan. 19 meeting will be held Jan. 20 and the Sept. 7 meeting will be held Sept. 8.