By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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The city’s Parks, Recreation and Beautification Commission will consider the order of proposed parks and recreation department projects in the 2013-2019 capital facilities plan when it meets at the Vern Burton Community Center at 308 E. Fourth St.
The plan, which eventually will be considered for approval by the City Council, prioritizes 12 parks and recreation projects, and is needed to meet state requirements for managed city growth, city staff said.
An approved plan would make it easier for the city to apply for state and federal grants to help fund the projects listed in the plan, Public Works Director Glenn Cutler said Wednesday.
“If it’s not on your list, normally, you can’t go out for a grant,” Cutler said.
Topping the list for the second year in a row are $5 million worth of proposed upgrades to Civic Field.
The city attempted to fund the improvements through a bond issue that voters rejected in August.
According to the plan, the city would fund installation of artificial turf, field lighting improvements, locker room renovations and bleacher replacement with $4 million from a 20-year bond and $1 million in grants.
Cutler said Civic Field, built in 1940 and revamped in 1978, has long suffered from drainage issues that have limited its use during fall and winter because of wet weather.
2014 proposed year for upgrade funding
The facilities plan sets out 2014 as the proposed year upgrades could be funded.
Proposed development at the city’s 147-acre Lincoln Park was bumped up to the second spot from fifth place in last year’s 2012-2018 facilities plan and updated with an estimated cost of $14 million.
The plan splits the funding into $6.7 million for tree removal, expected to come from the port, and $7.4 million for the first phase of proposed park improvements.
However, “no decision regarding the future of the park has been made,” city staff wrote in the plan.
The Port of Port Angeles has identified certain stands of trees in Lincoln Park for removal so they do not impede planes landing at the port-owned William R. Fairchild International Airport, which sits just west of the park, said Doug Sandau, port airport and marinas manager.
City Manager Dan McKeen said Wednesday no final decision has been made on the proposed park master plan, which lays out improvements, though city staff are preparing to bring it to the City Council for consideration within the next few months.
“We’re just preparing additional information for the council so they can make an informed decision,” McKeen said.
“We will be looking at funding opportunities outside of city funds.”
Lincoln Park’s first-phase improvements focus on the entry area off Lauridsen Boulevard and include updated parking areas, trails and ballfields.
Projects following Civic Field upgrades and Lincoln Park development in the facilities plan include replacing the Vern Burton Community Center roof, estimated at $300,000, and $140,000 worth of electrical upgrades and repairs along City Pier.
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at email@example.com.