Council hears board's appeal to get some of the projects done before maintenance fee renewal

At the Aug. 1 City Council meeting, Mark Triebwasser, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board chair, listed the recommendations the board wants to be completed prior to the sunset of the five-year park maintenance fee.

The proposals include the following:

-- The city council will resolve the issue of long term funding for park maintenance.

-- Deferred maintenance tasks will have been completed.

-- A review and update of relevant sections of the parks and Open Space Master Plan will have been concluded including a revised feasibility analysis of a Canby Park District, which includes a community center/sports complex element identifying costs and potential funding mechanisms.

-- The city council will resolve the issue of park maintenance employees' time being allocated to non-park maintenance activities.

The Canby Herald.

In addition, the board wants to see two projects moved into design and construction fairly soon. The first is a "splash pad," which they hope could be completed within a year. Triebwasser noted there are 40 splash pads within the tri-county area. The second would be for design for and construction of the park intended to serve the Auburn Farms subdivision.

Triebwasser explained that each board member made three recommendations for the future. The similar ones were tied together.

Mayor Brian Hodson earlier this year challenged the board to make the city ready for the residential growth that's expected within the next 30 or so years.

The board noted that its research verifies quality parks are often the reason driving tourism, attracting business and improving livability.

"Therefore we must begin preparing our parks starting now. We cannot wait until it's too late," according to Hodson.

He also cited that a water sport complex and a dog park were approved 10 years ago. "We're delaying what we need to do," he said.

City Administrator Rick Robinson questioned how the city needs to proceed. He suggested a feasibility analysis and a work session to go through the board's recommendations.

Hodson noted that even with the maintenance back up, many of the parks are being used heavily by a lot of residents.

Earlier, Hodson gave each council member a handout and asked them to tour the parks this month and determine which of the handout's six modes depicted the current state as well as their desired state. He said he expects that will prepare the council for the bus tour of the parks on Sept. 18.

The city is looking into WiFi in the parks, according to Robinson, and that may soon be tried at Wait Park.

But City Attorney Joe Lindsey cautioned that some people don't seem to be aware that no alcohol is allowed in parks.

"It's a crime to have a cooler of beer in the park, not a ticket, a crime," he said.

He also called on people to park in spaces, especially at parks at or near rivers, leaving a wide path for potential emeregencies.

"Often people create a situation that doesn't allow the use of emergency vehicles to get through. Be aware that in case of an emergency, those vehicles are large and need to get close," he said.

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