Westside park committee kicks off talks

Xavier Smith • Updated Feb 15, 2017 at 8:00 AM

The first step in building the city’s new west side park at Hamilton Springs occurred last week with the meeting of the project’s oversight task force.

The council approved a $5 million loan agreement for the park last year after Council Rick Bell and his family donated 15 acres for the park in the Hamilton Springs development.

Lebanon Finance Commissioner Robert Springer said the resolutions authorize a 25-year, fixed rate loan and the estimated debt service annually would be approximately $250,000. Springer said the interest rate would be 2.29 percent and subject to change every five years.

Lose & Associates will lead the design phase of the project. The group has extensive experience with parks and recreation facilities across the Southeast, including Beaman Park, Riverfront Park, Wave Country and First Tennessee Park in Nashville, Murfreesboro Greenways and more.

The firm has previously worked in Lebanon on the Hamilton Springs transit-oriented development and has assisted with preliminary layout and design of the new Empower Me facilities.

“It is my belief that parks and recreation are an extremely important quality of life aspect to our community. We have an opportunity to create a great new amenity for the current and future citizens of Lebanon. This is not about spending a set amount of money, but rather about establishing a new standard for our quality of life,” Bell said.

Lebanon Mayor Bernie Ash appointed three task force members and each councilor received one appointment for the task force that will develop a master plan, recommend a timeline, report recommendations to the council and oversee all phases of the park’s construction.

Ash appointees were Paul Gould, Barbara Payne and Traci Peel. Council appointees include: T.O. Cragwall (Joey Carmack); Adam Pastors (Fred Burton); Amber Hurdle (Rob Cesternino); MJ Lucas (Chris Crowell); Ken Davis (Tick Bryan); and JeniLind Brinkman (Bell).

Bell will also serve as an ex-officio for the west side park task force, as William Porter, Lebanon parks and recreation director, Jeff Baines, Lebanon public works commissioner, Sarah Haston, Lebanon economic development director, and Lebanon Planning Director Paul Corder will serve as ex-officio for both groups. 

A public open house where citizens will have a chance to view the preliminary master plan and offer feedback and suggestions is scheduled for Thursday, March 30. Time and location of the open house will be announced in the coming weeks.

The master plan phase of the park is expected to be finalized by April. 

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