Archive for Thursday, September 25, 2003

City eyes two lots near Prairie Estates for eastside park

September 25, 2003

A set of lots near the Prairie Estates neighborhood could become a Eudora park in the future. The city of Eudora is pursuing the possibility the nearly 16,000 square feet of city-owned property could be transformed into an eastside park.
The need for a park east of Church Street to serve Eudora's growing eastside neighborhoods has been on the public agenda for several years, and City Administrator Mike Yanez said the two city-owned lots seemed like a good bet. A set of four blocks in the Whispering Meadows subdivision would have been better, he said. However, the lots were valued at an estimated $30,000 each -- more than the city budget could handle.
Moreover, the city had already acquired the lots near Prairie Estates for possible park development.
The lots had a lot of vegetation and were overgrown until recently, Yanez said, when construction on Whispering Meadows had smoothed out some of the topography. Yanez suggested having city crews finish evening out the lots and have the area surveyed.
Moreover, he suggested having the city's engineers estimate what it would cost to equip a park with equipment, turf and other park necessities. Estimates already showed it could cost $10,000 to extend water and sewer utilities to the lots.
Yanez was thinking the park should include water fountain and restroom facilities, but Council member Tom Pyle said he didn't know if that was a good idea. Although Pyle said he generally liked the park idea, he feared restrooms on site would encourage vandalism. Plus, he said, such a small park would likely be used by people living nearby who wouldn't need drinking fountains and restrooms so close to their homes.
Yanez suggested making the restrooms an option for the park rather than a set part of the plans. He said facilities at other city parks had experienced vandalism, too.
"Our doors and windows are taking a beating, and it's costing us money," he said.
The city had appropriated $60,000 in its capital improvement funds in the fiscal years 2003 and 2004 budgets combined, as well as nearly $30,000 in the fiscal year 2004 park development fund.
Once estimates were in, Yanez said the issue would be brought back to the Eudora City Council for approval. If the Council went with the plans, Yanez said certain measures could be taken to save the city money on items like turf, for instance.
Other changes in the city's parks system included naming a new parks and recreation director at the Eudora City Council meeting Monday. (See related story, ge 1A).

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