Parks and rec board talks parks master plan, results from public survey
Published 8:12 am Friday, November 3, 2017
Members of the Danville-Boyle County Parks and Recreation board voiced their opinions regarding the needs of the local parks to the consultants hired by the city of Danville to develop a master parks plan during their regular October meeting Wednesday evening.
Patrick Hoagland and Keith Rodenhouser with Brandstetter Carroll Inc. met with members of the board to discuss the results they’ve garnered so far.
Aquatics seems to be a big issue, according to the public engagement “dot totals” at the open house held in October, which had 26 participants and received 16 dots (votes placed on topics). The next highest vote-getters were natural areas, with 11 votes, and trails, with 10 votes.
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During HarvestFest, people were given $1,000 in play money with which to express what was most important — $13,600 was spent on building a new outdoor aquatic center. The nearest second item was building new bike and walking trails, which garnered $6,400.
Individuals were also given the option to spend play money at the Open House — aquatics received $6,900. The biggest ticketed items were upgrading the existing parks, $7,300, and “other” park improvements, $7,400.
Hoagland said they weren’t surprised by some of the comments, but that it was a good experience to speak with individuals one-on-one, because it gave people a chance to express what they were most passionate about.
“Hopefully, the first couple of months of the year, we’ll have some recommendations,” Hoagland told the board, sharing that they were still gathering data and surveys.
He asked board members what they would like to see.
Some, such as board member Jeff Thornton, said they wanted to expand the park, because they felt the existing land didn’t have enough space to do the kinds of things the community wished to see.
Board member Heather Wheeler said she felt the lack of a gym space is a big issue.
It’s important to have “not only the recreational gym space, not for the basketball space or the volleyball space, or whatever programs you want to do inside, but so the kids could have a space to come play in the winter,” she said.
Board members also expressed a concern about the pool facility at the Bunny Davis Center.
“We’ve got to make a decision on the pool and on Bunny Davis, whether we’re going to put the money into it or put it somewhere else,” said Roger Ross, board chair.
Wheeler said she’d also like to see a way to streamline the process of letting people know how to use the parks and who to contact if they have an issue with any of the city parks. It’s also important, she said, to make sure all of the park spaces are being utilized.
“I know we’re an entity only over Millennium, but we should be looking throughout the community at ways to utilize what’s there,” she said.
Other ideas included adult soccer fields, a multipurpose building that could house a second level walking track, making sure to appeal to the older generation as well as the youth, moving the office of the Parks and Recreation Department to Millennium Park and more.
Board members also asked for the survey to be placed in local businesses, in order to generate more responses. About 1,100 surveys have been filled out so far.
The board also:
• discussed an addition to the dog park, to add an area of 24,600 square foot area, on the end farthest from the bridge. Currently, there is a small area of 2,400 square feet and a larger area of 30,000 square feet. The money, Drake said, is being donated if the board, the city and the county approve the idea.
• heard from City Commissioner Rick Serres, who is going to talk to the city about potentially getting a memorial placed near the disc golf course in Jackson Park, in recognition of the late Todd Kleffman and Stuart Arnold, who were instrumental in getting the course going at the park.
• planned the next meeting for 4:15 p.m. Dec. 6. It will likely be held at Danville City Hall, but could be at the Boyle County Courthouse. Drake said they would confirm.
SO YOU KNOW
A survey is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DanvilleParks. You can also email thoughts to email@example.com; call the city at (859) 238-1200; or mail them to: Danville Public Works, Earl Coffey, City Engineer, 445 West Main Street, Danville, KY 40422.