12/05/08 — Alliance looks to trim park costs

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Alliance looks to trim park costs

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on December 5, 2008 1:46 PM

Members of the Stoney Creek Park Alliance met Thursday afternoon to discuss how to cut down the $1.17 million price tag that has been projected for a first-rate park.

Alliance members say they don't need a state-of-the-art park, just something that is usable by all of Goldsboro's residents -- and that doesn't require a million dollars.

"We want to have a nice functional park at a reasonable price," Alliance Chairman Dr. Peter Roethling said.

The group set out items that were necessary in the park now and items that could wait to be added in years to come.

Another parking area on Ash Street, walking and jogging trails throughout the park, a disc golf course in the middle of the park, a restroom facility and donor monument toward the corner of Ash and Randolph streets, separate dog parks for small and large dogs toward the back of the park on either side of Durant Street and a children's play area made of natural-looking elements toward the front of the park were deemed necessary by the group.

The alliance is expected to apply for a Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant early in February that could provide up to $500,000 for the park, and for the application to gain more points, the park needs three active amenities, which are planned -- trails, a children's play area and a disc golf course.

Other elements of the park, such as electricity ($20,000) park lighting ($75,000) and raised walkways ($100,000) can wait for a future phase, they said.

And still others, like the garden areas and portions of the children's play area, dog park and disc golf course, can be constructed with help from volunteers.

Consulting and architectural firm Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. calculated a cost projection for the alliance that City Council members saw Monday. But alliance members believe those costs, even for the necessary items, are overpriced -- such as the $57,000 proposed for landscaping or the $50,000 for a picnic shelter.

When Roethling said he talked to a consultant about the dog park, the consultant said that it would cost around $20,000. The cost projection calls for $40,000 for the large dog park and $35,000 for the small dog park, plus a $10,000 water fountain.

Alliance members are going to talk with other consultants to see how they can continue to bring down the $1.17 million tag. Their goal is for the park to cost around $400,000, and ask the City Council for $200,000 as matching money for the PARTF grant.

And even though the council wasn't excited about the park at the projected million-dollar cost, Roethling and other alliance members say they will push onward to make the greenspace a reality.

"I think this park has so much potential for the city," Roethling said, adding that the park will be a free recreation area that is available for all residents.

"I think this is one of the least expensive projects that people will get the most out of," City Councilman and alliance member Bob Waller said.

The alliance plans to talk with the City Council again about the project at a special meeting Monday at 3 p.m. in hopes that it will approve the final site plan at its Dec. 15 meeting. The approved plan is necessary for the PARTF grant application.

The alliance will hold a public information session on Dec. 9 at 6 p.m. at Herman Park Center to give the public a chance to look at the final park plan.