A new city park will be built just outside the Talus Community, thanks to a unanimous vote to fund the project Monday night by the City Council.
“It’s an addition to the already great park system we have,” Councilwoman Eileen Barber said. “I can’t wait to see children play on it.”
The new park will cost an estimated $877,000. Of that, $467,000 will come from the $6.25 million Natural Areas Park bond passed in November of 2006. After spending $90,000 for the design and permits for the park, the city was left with $377,000 — $500,000 short of what was needed for the park.
Parks and Recreation Department staff members had applied for and received grant funding for a park in the Squak Valley Park South area, $150,000 of which was left unused. So, parks staff asked the council whether those funds could be used for the Talus park.
“Squak is healthy financially, so we asked for the transfer,” Parks and Recreation Director Anne McGill said.
The council also approved using $200,000 from park mitigation and $150,000 from the interest on the Park bonds to pay for the new Talus-area park.
The park will feature a playground with equipment designed for kids 5 and younger, and also equipment for kids ages 5 to 12. Three playground options were described on the city’s Web site, and residents voted on their favorite, which helped city staff members decide which set to install.
The park will also have a large, flat grassy area, which Talus residents requested because their neighborhood is very hilly, McGill said. The grassy expanse will be surrounded by a paved walking path so that younger children can learn how to ride their bikes, McGill said.
The walking paths and the parking spaces are going to be made of a pervious surface that will help wick water away. McGill said the green development plan also includes rain gardens, and — a first for the city — a restroom building that will be powered by solar roof panels.
“It doesn’t need that much, since it’s small,” McGill said.
There will be a backup conduit in the ground just in case the panels can’t provide enough power.
The city hopes to send the park out to bid this spring and start construction this summer, finishing the park by the fall.
A covered picnic area is also in the plans, but would be added to the park at a later date, depending on funding.
The park is currently unnamed, however, Councilman Josh Schaer suggested that the community should start sending in suggestions.