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Getting the Ball Rolling

posted Jul 12, 2008, 5:49 AM by Brian Johnson   [ updated Jul 12, 2008, 5:57 AM ]
On Thursday, July 10, I attended a Public Improvements Advisory Committee (PIAC) meeting for our district (District 2, in case you're wondering) at the Northland Cathedral.  I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into, so I just put my name on the list of presenters and jumped right in with a request to have the Highland View Park upgraded.  I fully expected to come away from the meeting with nothing more than directions on how to properly submit my request.  I couldn't have been more wrong!
I honestly believe that I could not have received a better response.  Between the facilitator of the meeting, the district Councilman (Ed Ford) and the three representatives from the Parks & Rec department (who, by chance, happened to sit right be side me), I was all but promised that funds were available in THIS FISCAL YEAR for projects like this one!!!  Simply put, I will be coordinating with the North Regional Manager from the Parks & Rec department to review the current state of the park and to help generate a new design!  
Now, I won't promise that this will be done by the end of the summer, but I was told that we could expect progress within the next 12 months, assuming everything works as it should.  (This is also dependent on the wishes/needs of the neighborhood residents.)  This is a solid 6 - 9 months ahead of where we would be if we had to go through the budgeting process for the 2009-2010 budget!  On top of that, I should be able to meet with the North Regional Manager and one of the Parks & Rec engineers in the next few weeks to determine if there are any upgrades that can be made in the near term!
Part of my involvement is going to require that I get people involved from the neighborhood.  This is important in that we need to make sure we build something that meets the needs of everyone.  To facilitate this need, this website will be used to collect information from residents (# and age range of kids, requests for features, etc), as well as to inform them of all project details.  I will get the word out about the site by walking the neighborhood to hand out fliers.  Hopefully, I can get this done in the next week!
Finally, for those who are interested, the folks at the PIAC meeting on Thursday evening suggested that I drive by Romey Hills Park off of 101st Place (about 1 block west of N. Oak on the S side of the street).  They said that Highland View Park could possibly be built with a similar design.  So, after the meeting I drove by...  Wow!  I was certainly impressed, and can't wait to get the ball rolling on our park!
- Brian