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City to hire work on new parks

 


Electric City’s park plan got a boost April 11, when the city council looked favorably on recommendations from the Parks and Recreation Committee (PARC).

The council agreed to move forward on hiring an engineering or landscape firm to draw final plans for both the McNett Avenue Park and the Grand Avenue Park, both new to the city.

Council members specified that the city should use funds other than hotel/motel money to pay for the completed plans.

The council had voted a year ago to set aside $40,000 from its hotel/motel fund to pay for engineering costs. The lodging tax is collected on stays at motels and campgrounds to be used to boost tourism.

Some council members appeared nervous about the use of hotel/motel money for engineering costs, even though they were assured that it had been cleared by city officials.

The two new parks are part of the city’s overall Revitalization program that includes Ice Age trails, sidewalks and other improvements.

Plans for the two new parks, both with an Ice Age theme, were developed by a team made up of a professor and students from Washington State University.

The McNett Park is located behind the fire department building. The Grand Avenue Park is near the city’s arsenic treatment plant.

At the Grand Avenue site, the PARC group recommended that a tree be removed so that a proposed basketball court could be full size rather than three-quarter size. The space also could be used for concerts, a Saturday market and other public uses.

When all details of the two park plans are complete, the council could move it forward for a 60-day review period.

That would start the ball rolling to apply for park grants that will be available in 2018.

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