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City to save $1 million for park needs

Xavier Smith • Sep 22, 2017 at 2:08 PM

The city of Lebanon plans to reserve $1 million in the next two years for city park renovations and repairs after the council voted on the plans Tuesday night.

The city will take $500,000 from the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 fiscal year budgets to create a sinking fund for parks.

“I think this is a great idea. From the vocation I come from, we always look to have a reserve. This will help us with all of the parks we have currently and planned,” said Councilor Chris Crowell.

The move comes during a busy year for current city park projects:

Don Fox playground

The council approved up to $500,000 for renovations, repair, replacement and additions to the park’s playground last year. Work is expected to start this year.

David Hale, task force chairman, said the new playground would accommodate children with and without special needs.

The playground would feature swing sets for children in wheelchairs, as well as special shaded areas with musical devices for children to play.

Due to special hybrid material used to build it, the proposed playground would be less expensive to maintain than the wooden one currently in use.

Don Fox wading pool

The council approved $400,000 to repair the Don Fox wading pool in June.

“It’s got a liner that was put there in 1994, and instead of plastering it, we decided to put a new liner in there, and it’s been about 12 years since we’ve done that,” said Jimmy Floyd Family Center director Tim Hill in June. “The liner ripped in two or three places over the winter, and when we filled it up, the whole liner came up and floated on top.”

Hobbs Fields

The council will create the Elmer Elkins Hobbs Field Task Force to oversee renovations at Hobbs Field. 

“Hobbs area is an area that has pretty much been neglected in my time in the city, and I think we should give that some attention,” Councilor Rob Cesternino said.

Cesternino and Crowell will nominate two members to serve on the task force, along with Lebanon Mayor Bernie Ash. The names of appointees are expected to be submitted to Ash by Oct. 3. 

The task force will meet no less than once a month until the park master plan is completed. 

West side park

The council approved a loan agreement for up to $5 million for the park last year. The park will be located on 15 of land adjacent to the Hamilton Springs development.

As designed, the proposed park will include pathways, pavilions, restrooms, a central water feature and an inclusive playground, as well as an event space, food truck plaza and dog parks for large and small dogs.

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