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11/6 Community Meeting Notes

posted Nov 10, 2008, 10:44 AM by Brian Johnson   [ updated Nov 15, 2008, 10:13 AM ]
Update to 11/6 Community Meeting Notes

The bulk of the time during our 11/6 meeting was spent discussing the master plan for Highland View Park, and our desires for updating this plan.  We covered the items that were identified during our 9/23 meeting as the "top priorities" -  Playground Improvements and a Hard Surface Walking Trail.  We also discussed the possibility of formalizing a trail structure through the wooded areas of the park before moving on to the topic of what our next steps should be.

On the topics of playground improvements and the walking trail, Scott Overbay of KC Parks & Rec provided an overview of the park site.  He provided drawings that showed proposed routes for the walking trail, and a new location for the playground. 

The walking trail was proposed to extend along 85th Terrace from Boone to Virginia, continuing east along the park perimiter, and south along Virginia from 85th Terrace to the south edge of the park.  Through discussions, the group decided that, should funding be an issue, the highest priority related to the walking trail would be for the initial run from Boone to Virginia.  Pending available funds, the trail should cotinue east of Virginia along 85th Terrace.  Should additional funds be available, the final priority related to the walking trail would be to add the extension along Virginia south of 85th Terrace.

Should we have funding for the entire length of trail, we can expect roughly 2700 linear feet of paved trail.  This includes a width of eight feet.  The trail will be constructed of poured concrete for durability, longevity and reduced maintenance (when compared with asphalt).The estimated cost of this portion of the project is $180,000.00.

The highest rated priority, as voted on by those in attendance, was the proposal of improvements to the playground.  For this piece of the project, Mr. Overbay proposed three options for play structures:  Traditional, Innovative and Boulders.  Based on input from the group, it was decided that the Innovative style was the preferred option.  One main reason for this is the fact that the Traditional style is likely to be more inviting to loitering and undesirable after-hours behavior.  The play equipment will be geared toward children in the 5 - 12 age range.

The surface area of the proposed play area is estimated to come in between 2000 and 2500 square feet, and will be moved a short distance to the east to accommodate.  (The new location is the clearing near the speed bump to the east - just west of Troost.)  There will be a rubberized safety surface in place, along with the addition of two benches and an appropriately sized trash receptacle for the playground.  The play area will also include a sidewalk for accessibility.

If bid alone, the cost of the playground could approach $140,000.00.  However, it has been decided that we will include this project (for the playground only) in a playground package for 2009.  It is anticipated that this approach will enable us to construct the playground for around $90,000.00.  This is a large savings that will enable us to achieve more with the funds already available to us ($146,000.00 in in-lieu funds).

In addition to the construction of the new play area, it was decided that  the existing play equipment will be left in place.  This will provide additional options for neighborhood residents to enjoy the park.

In terms of the nature trail that has been discussed, Mike Herron of KC Parks & Rec noted that his department could lend a hand in helping make this a reality.  While we would need to do most of the work on our own, they could provide assistance with mapping out the trail routes, providing wood chips for the walking surface, etc.  In line with this, Mr. Overbay is planning to make a site visit with the primary intention of mapping out any existing trails.  He will then amend the park master plan to include the nature trails.

As the group discussed next steps, Mr. Herron noted that he would schedule a Peer Review with his peers at KC Parks & Rec to further analyze this project.  The outcome of this review would be to determine if the project needs to be approved by the Board of Parks & Rec Commissioners, or if it could go ahead as proposed.  For this meeting, Mr. Herron requested that someone from our group attend.  As agreed by those in attendance, I will be representing the Highland View Park project in this meeting.

Finally, Mr. Herron stated that it would be a good idea if we were to follow-up with our PIAC (Public Improvements Advisory Council) representatives and/or our City Council representative in regards to the outstanding requests for additional funding.  The purpose of this would be to show continued interest and support for the project, and to demonstrate the progress that has been made to date.  I will follow-up with Mr. Herron on the appropriate contact information for these individuals and will make it available to you as soon as I can.

As always, please let me know if I've missed anything, or if my rendition of the meeting is not clear.  If you you have anything to add, please send those comments my way as well.

- Brian