12/19/08 — City workers tapped for help with next steps for park plan

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City workers tapped for help with next steps for park plan

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on December 19, 2008 1:46 PM

After Goldsboro City Council members decided to forgo applying for a grant for Stoney Creek Park, they promised they would not abandon the project and that city employees would help the Stoney Creek Park Alliance as much as possible.

So, on Thursday, City Planning Director Randy Guthrie and City Engineer Marty Anderson met with alliance members to start to work on designing the park, with trails being the first priority.

The alliance received $43,769 in funds for trails in the park, including an $11,025 match from the city. The money has to be used by August.

But with consulting firm Kimley-Horn & Associates only providing basic information of the layout of the park, city planning officials now have to try and figure out dimensions for the trails and the materials that would be best to use to construct them.

Anderson and Guthrie expressed a few concerns. The most pressing one is what can and cannot be located on the low-lying portion of the park that was bought out by federal authorities after Hurricanes Floyd and Fran.

Guthrie said he wasn't sure about the location of the restrooms, and if that was one of the approved uses for the buyout area or not.

"There are specific requirements with what you can do with buyout land," Guthrie said. "And if you want to do something outside of those guidelines, you have to get permission from FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency.)"

And that, he added, could take a very long time, possibly a year or more.

The planners also are concerned about whether water and sewer lines reach the area where the alliance wanted a restroom facility and dog park.

Once the trail project gets moving, alliance members told the planning officials that they wanted to see the dog park come next.

"That's really just putting up fencing," chairman Dr. Peter Roethling said.

Guthrie said the city could probably donate some of its mulch to be used for the basis of the dog park and had some old hydrants they could even put in the area.

The alliance doesn't have any detailed designs of the park, due to the prohibitive cost. So, the alliance asked the city officials to draw up some designs as well as give a cost projection for the various elements of the park.

"I think they've basically given this to us and told us to run with it," Guthrie said.

Alliance members said they hope to continue to be able to use in-kind services by city employees throughout the park project, but they also hope to get help from volunteers in the community willing to give money or time.

Guthrie and Anderson said they would likely have a design for the trails, a preliminary design for other park elements and a cost estimate by the alliance's next meeting on Jan. 15.