02/14/13 — No decision yet on W.A. Foster plans

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No decision yet on W.A. Foster plans

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on February 14, 2013 1:46 PM

The Goldsboro City Council again decided to delay the approval of the Parks and Recreation Master plan as well as selecting a firm to handle the design work for the city's new W.A. Foster Center during the second day of the 2013 city retreat at the Goldsboro Municipal Golf Course.

The master plan, which was put together with extensive public input over the summer, seeks to put the department on a five-year trajectory that will see the city's parks brought up to code and polished while laying the groundwork for greenways, trails and new parks and recreation centers.

The City Council passed on approving the plan when it was first proposed at its Jan. 7 meeting and again at its Jan. 21 meeting, as council members asked that it be discussed during the retreat.

Parks and Recreation Director Scott Barnard gave a third run-through of the plan during Wednesday's afternoon portion of the retreat, but because two council members were absent, the council asked that the decision be delayed until its next meeting.

The Feb. 18 meeting should also see the council make a decision as to what type of planning it wants to see for the new W.A. Foster Recreation Center, which is planned to be built at Mina Weil Park.

The council previously approved the allocation of $30,000 for planning purposes for the project, but the city's request for qualifications showed that the best qualified firm, HH Architecture from Raleigh, would require $47,543 to plan three options for the facility: a high cost, low cost and median cost estimate.

Those three designs were requested due to the council asking for options concerning the building early in the planning process, but council members indicated at the Feb. 4 meeting that they would rather not invest so much money into the planning of the building, especially when only one of the two designs would be used.

District 5 Councilman Chuck Allen said the Parks and Recreation staff knew the community and its needs best and that an extensive public outreach program, as included with the design work, would not be necessary, while District 6 Councilman Gene Aycock said, flatly, that he was tired of spending money for studies.

The council is expected to discuss both the master plan and the future of W.A. Foster at its meeting Monday, Feb. 18, which is open to the public. A work session in the City Hall Annex precedes the regular 7 p.m. meeting in Historic City Hall.