How to better utilize Sunset Park took up a good portion of the city of Bloomsdale Board of Aldermen’s November 12 meeting.
Ward 1 Alderman Brandon Shortt reported on the youth project he had been given by Mayor Paul Monia.
At the September meeting, Monia tasked Shortt with coming up with a plan to develop part of the park to appeal to the 8-to-14 age group and giving him a $100,000 budget. The deadline to present a plan is the January 2020 meeting.
Shortt said in October that he had already been contacted by people with ideas who had read about the project in the Herald.
“Somebody said they recommended tetherball, but they also recommended parking up top [along Highway 61],” Shortt said. “People are always pulling off the road and parking.”
Shortt said he knows this goes on during winter, when people go sledding in the park. The combination of graded snow and parked cars “encroaches even more on 61,” Shortt said, creating a driving hazard.
Shortt also said the park isn’t officially open during the winter and that the parking places would certainly increase the winter use.
“I don’t know if we want to encourage that,” he said. “But they mentioned it to me more than once about parking off 61. They take pictures there.”
Shortt and Monia agreed such a project would take considerable fill and would require a retaining wall. Monia said some thought would be needed before proceeding on such a plan. …
Shortt shared another idea that had been brought to him.
“It was brought up to put in some kind of a pavilion or stage, something down there where we could promote, whether it would be a trunk-or-treat or a fall festival or some other festival … that we should really do something quarterly down there,” Shortt said. “Not necessarily a money fundraiser, just something to bring us all, drag us all out and do something.” …
City clerk Lynnette Randoll mentioned the possibility of exercise stations or a walking track through the park. …
“If we were to utilize that so-called flat spot for a pavilion or something,” Monia said, “then what she’s saying, with the track, could be around it, possibly.”
There was agreement that the idea is worth exploring.
See complete story in the November 20 edition of the Herald.