Danville will fund master parks plan on its own

Published 9:24 am Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Danville City Commission has voted to fund a $50,000 study to develop a parks master plan.

“This is a leadership effort by the city to further plan for the joint development of our parks,” Mayor Mike Perros said.

The resolution passed by the commission hires architectural firm Brandstetter Carroll Inc. to conduct the study and develop a master plan, which could guide future development of parks in the area for decades.

The original price tag for the master plan was $77,500. Commissioner J.H. Atkins noted the city negotiated that price down to $50,000.

The city had pursued for some time partnering with Boyle County Fiscal Court on the master plan, proposing that the two governments split the cost 50-50 — $25,000 apiece. County officials said they weren’t interested and preferred to spend money on an existing list of needs for Millennium Park. Danville officials have countered that the existing list is based off of an old master plan that may no longer accurately reflect the needs and desires of current and future park users.

“We’ve kicked this around for a long time,” said Commissioner Rick Serres, who previously tabled the proposal in order to give the fiscal court more time to consider joining in.

Serres and every other commissioner voted in favor Monday night. The project includes four phases:

• In the “evaluate” phase, Brandstetter Carroll will provide “planning context” by forming a steering committee with local officials and people; analyzing local demographics; and reviewing existing plans and, studies and policies. The consultant will also create a report analyzing the area’s existing parks, trails and open spaces. This phase is projected to cost $13,800.

• In the “engage” phase, Brandstetter Carroll will conduct a “needs assessment” that will include a public workshop and input from elected officials and “stakeholder groups.” There will be “up to 12 stakeholder group meetings and round table discussions with various special interest and user groups.” This phase is projected to cost $9,900.

• In the “envision” phase, Brandstetter Carroll will develop a vision, goals and objectives for the master plan. This phase is projected to cost $2,300.

• In the final “plan” phase, Brandstetter Carroll will provide “physical planning” such as a map of what improvements to area parks are recommended. The consultant will also provide an action plan that includes a “phased implementation plan” with “specific strategies and recommendations,” funding recommendations and a final master plan. This phase is projected to cost $24,000.

“The last master plan lasted 30 years,” City Engineer Earl Coffey said, as he encouraged high school students who attended the commission meeting for a class to participate in the new planning process. “As you have an opportunity to provide feedback to city commission as youth (who) have visited your parks, please do, because you’re going to guide that path for the next 20 years.”