Council votes unanimously to move city park improvements forward
Improvements include new playground with a merry-go-round, removal of fountain on 12th Street
– At Tuesday night’s Paso Robles City Council meeting, the council unanimously decided to approve a set of proposed designs for improvements to the downtown city park. The plans call for a new playground with areas for older and younger children, a merry-go-round and teeter-totter.
The city was awarded a State of California Housing-Related Parks Program (HRPP) Grant to be used to rehabilitate the ark in the amount of $804,450. In addition to the grant, the city has approximately $686,626 in undesignated redevelopment funds from the 2009 bond sale that may be used for the project. The REC Foundation also raised approximately $80,000 to renovate the playground.
The conditions of the grant provide that the funds must be used no later than June 30, 2016, which provides for a very tight schedule. Potential improvements and rehabilitation projects presented to Council on November 18, 2014 included.
a. Playground renovation
b. Make interior paths ADA-compliant
c. Repair exterior sidewalk
d. Upgrade electrical system
e. Upgrade irrigation system
g. Renovate Gazebo
h. Redo fountain area
i. Redo BBQ and horseshoe areas
On February 17, 2015, city council authorized staff to enter into an agreement with SSA Landscape Architects to design the repair and rehabilitation project. SSA Landscape Architects has incorporated all potential rehabilitation projects into the conceptual design.
In the area of of the fountain, the architecture firm is proposing removing the fountain and building a new entry way plaza.
The firm is proposing that the playground be moved away from the existing oak, to lessen maintenance work and increase the safety of the playground. The playground equipment will also be shaded, and American’s with Disabilities Act or ADA compliant.
The park will have a number of ADA compliance improvements. The plan also involves restoring the barbecue and horseshoe areas, putting in a new drinking fountain and repairing any old drinking fountains that are no longer functioning properly.
The council and the public voiced support of the project. Concerns were raised by citizen and Main Street Association President Norma Moye about the potentiality for skateboarders to abuse the new entry way area. Skate breaks — round disks that are installed into raised seating areas — will be used on all newly installed seating areas in the park.
The council unanimously voted to move the plans forward. “It’s about time,” said councilman Fred Strong. The crowd erupted in applause when the votes were cast.