Proposed green space development unveiled
Published 7:00 am Thursday, May 15, 2014
The council chambers at Picayune’s City Hall were open on Tuesday for the public to view and provide input on proposed development plans for the green space on Goodyear Boulevard.
Mayor Ed Pinero, City Manager Jim Luke along with council members and representatives of Dungan Engineering were available for questions and comments from those in attendance.
Luke said that the space had been designed to continue the historic footprint of the downtown design and be functional for festivals, concerts, plays and fitness. He said that black wrought iron fencing would promote safety of children playing in the space by keeping them from easily running into Goodyear Boulevard and ease the mind of parents who were taking advantage of the proposed walking area.
Luke added that the plans were by no means final, which is why they are looking for more feedback from the community.
At this time, the proposal has a paved-brick walkway, a walking trail, an outdoor theater, restroom facilities and a unique historical section for displaying photos and items from Picayune’s past. The grounds will be landscaped and include picnic areas.
Pinero stressed to the group that the beautiful oak trees that grace the grounds would not be distressed or damaged in the development process.
At this time no date for completion has been set. The city is searching for grants to fund the development and looking for ways to repurpose current materials salvaged from other projects, to incorporate in the new design just as it has successfully done in the past.
Among the attendees, business owners Steve McDonald and Bill Edwards both complimented the design, saying it looked well thought out and would enhance the area greatly.
“I have not witnessed this much excitement in our community since the building and dedication of the new city hall,” Luke said. “This large green space in our historic district will improve the quality of life for generations to come.”
Others, like Russell Foster, disagreed with the entire concept for using the green space for what he termed “another park.” Foster said he felt the town has enough parks and either an industrial facility or nursing home was needed there.
Most community members seemed genuinely pleased with the proposal.
When asked if a name for the area was chosen, Pinero said that at this time one had not been chosen, but the council may decide to include the Crosby name in some way.
A decision on whether pets would be allowed in the park has not been made at this time either.
The next step for the development of the space is to review suggestions and tweak the proposal.
Pinero said that no major overhaul of the proposal is expected because community feedback prior to and since the current artist rendering has been consistent.
“Everyone wants fencing, a theater and a walking track,” he said. “The next thing to do is determine funding sources and prioritize projects. Then we begin construction.”