Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Master Parks Plan--A Sneak Peek at $72 million Plan

A Power Point of the ambitious plans for our parks was presented to the BMA at a work session on February 28. 

I obtained this Power Point through an open records request: 

Plans for Municipal Park

No audio recording was made of the Work Session, and I did not attend. Therefore I am unable to give anything other than a cursory analysis of the plan. 

The main components of the plan are Municipal Park (shown above), The Parks of Poplar Pike (parks near the 3Gs), Cameron Brown Park, a new planned sportsplex in the Forest Hill Heights area, and an expanded Greenway.
The Sportsplex was discussed in my October 24 post.  

In that post, I stated that before citizens could comment intelligently about the Preliminary Parks proposal, we really needed more data. Now we have more data (still not enough--we still have no cost-benefit analysis on the proposed Sportsplex!), but unfortunately we did not have this data prior to the comment period. 

Now we have the cost estimates for each portion of the proposal.....72 million dollars in total. As this represents a hefty sum, it would be nice to have more opportunity for more feedback, and also a group Q and A, so that citizens could get some questions answered about the proposal, and help shape the final plan as well as the cost, especially given that we have many other pressing infrastructure needs. According to a post on his Facebook page, Alderman Massey suggested having a town hall meeting about the proposal, but that suggestion was not well received. The survey on the Preliminary Proposal last fall did elicit feedback-- that feedback that was discussion only, and not tallied. There were 118 responses from citizens. You may read the survey results here: 

A number of people objected to moving the soccer fields to the Forest Hill Heights area from the Parks on Poplar Pike area, and wondered if there would even be half sized fields for the younger kids. Most were skeptical about the need for a sportsplex, given that Mike Rose complex is so close, and benefits Germantown economically far more than a much smaller complex in Forest Hill Heights. Others did not want the tennis courts consolidated, moving from Cameron Brown and Municipal Park to the Parks on Poplar Pike. Still others felt that the plans favored the Germantown Charity Horse Show to the detriment of the Germantown Festival. 

Because of all the discussion about basketball courts and Farmington Park in my post Changes Coming to Farmington Park, I looked for specifics about basketball courts, which seem to be popular from a Facebook poll that I saw, showing citizens favored keeping a basketball court at Farmington Park by a 10 to 1 margin. Interestingly, outdoor basketball courts were deemed to be a deficit and needed, yet it looked as if there were no basketball courts planned in this $72 million dollar plan. It is possible I am mistaken, but I didn't see any on the Power Point. In the initial plan (the one we commented on), there were to be outdoor basketball courts at Cameron Brown Park, according to the text. However, the visual representation of the plan did not show any.  

I admit to being more familiar with the Greenway and Poplar Estates Park than Cameron Brown and the Parks on Poplar Pike, so please take the time to look through the Power Point and perhaps let your aldemen know your thoughts on the The Master Parks Proposal. As far as I know, there are no further meetings about the plan, and no formal requests for any more feedback. I did not see anything in the citizen feedback that was considered and incorporated into the final plan. If you feel that the citizens should have more input into a $72 million proposal, simply state that to your representatives. 

I am not sure when this $72 million plan will be brought before the BMA for a final vote.

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