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Lacy Park is focus of city commission meeting

Times Observer photo by Josh Carlson The renovation of Lacy Park was the prime topic of discussion at Wednesday’s City of Warren Parks & Recreation Commission meeting.

Wrapping up the renovation of Lacy Park — including the installation of an adapted, sensory playground — was the focus of the discussion at Tuesday’s City of Warren Parks and Recreation Commission meeting.

Invitations have been sent and details are in the works for a grand opening set for Oct. 3 at 10 a.m.

City Manager Nancy Freenock said that the event will be open to the public.

She told the Commission that the Secretary of the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Cindy Adams Dunn, is unavailable to attend but will send a regional director. She said she also invited the secretary of state Human Services.

Freenock again addressed the need for the retention pond at the site that has drawn a fair amount of public criticism.

She said such a pond wasn’t required at Beaty Park because the city didn’t add any “impervious surface.”

With the pavilion and parking, she said, the pond became a requirement.

“It is long,” she acknowledged, but said the other option was to keep it smaller but much deeper.

“(That) could have caused more of a hazard,” she said, noting an underground option was possible but at multiple times the expense.

Freenock said the city aims to plant wildflowers in the pond in the spring to turn it into a butterfly garden.

“It is where it is,” she said, because the city “wanted to preserve more of the green area” for future building, such as an ADA-accessible t-ball field or basketball court.

Pavilion problems

An issue with the construction with the pavilion could result it in having to be redone in the spring.

“The plans were not followed by the contractor,” Freenock said, explaining that the posts that support the pavilion were not centered on the concrete pads.

She said it “doesn’t look like a professional job” and said it “should be done correctly.”

“Structurally, it’s ok,” she added. “To my mind, that’s not the issue. It’s an aesthetic one.”

City staff will be discussing possible options.

“There’s a lot of moving parts there,” Department of Public Works Director Mike Holtz said. “We’ll correct it.”

Freenock said it will “not be corrected at the city’s expense.”

Park plan

Freenock also told the Commission that the city is in the process of creating a new recreation, park and open space plan and is asking Commission members to recommended suggested projects or maintenance items.

She said staff have come up with an initial list but added “this can’t just be the staff’s plan. (It) has to be a group effort.”

The Commission set its next meeting for Nov. 10 to give time to be able to discuss this issue at that meeting.

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