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Planners talk future of Mulberry Park

Times Observer file photo A survey is in the works to gather public interest regarding potential improvements to Mulberry Park, located between Glade Ave. and Frank St. The city’s planners discussed the park during Wednesday’s meeting.

Nearly all of the prominent parks in the City of Warren have been the focus of significant rehabilitative efforts over the last decade.

There’s one notable exception – Mulberry Park.

And when you look at all the other parks on a map, leaving Mulberry behind creates a gap for residents on the north side of Warren.

The City of Warren’s Planning Commission discussed the park during Wednesday’s meeting.

Director of Codes and Planning Randy Rossey said a committee of the city’s comprehensive plan task force is developing a survey regarding Mulberry.

Rossey said the survey will be intended to gather feedback from city residents – specifically from those that live around the park – regarding what they would like to see there.

He acknowledged that part of the question is determining whether activity at Mulberry would be worth the investment.

“Is this something that the city should be using assets on?” Rossey asked, or is there “something else that might be more worthwhile.”

There is “just nothing on that end of town” from a park perspective, Commission member Katie Spiegel said.

The major problem with Mulberry and why it has been left behind to some degree are significant drainage problems.

“We recognize there’s a drainage issue,” City Manager Mike Holtz said. “We’ve talked for three or four years about how to address that.”

Holtz said that the council allocated money to engineer a plan for that problem.

“(We’re) going to try to get a plan together this year and go shop for a grant,” he said “It’s hundreds of thousands to drain it…. I think we have some funding sources. We need to have a plan to apply.”

Holtz added that the water, sewer and electric access at the park remains.

Commission member Mike Suppa acknowledged that the survey “really would be more (about) potential usage” because there is “not much to use there now.”

The investment at Lacy Park shows that if you build it, children will come.

Holtz called it “amazing” how “kids have flocked” to Lacy in recent years.

Rossey said “Mulberry could become the next hot spot” if the city finds funding to correct the drainage issues and build out the park.

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