Monday, July 27, 2009

Morgan Park Update

The Salemtown e-list is reporting this morning that Metro Parks officials will be updating Salemtown Neighbors on the progress (or lack thereof) of Morgan Park improvements at tonight's association meeting. I honestly cannot recall the last time Metro Parks attempted to communicate with Salemtown Neighbors.

A week ago I posted a timeline of failed Metro Parks promises on a new playground. Three weeks ago I posted photos of fountain construction that failed to meet its deadline for completion.

Last Monday I also sent CM Erica Gilmore, who reported in December 2008 that Mayor Karl Dean told her that Morgan Park's new playground was imminent, the following letter:
I am writing once again to appeal that you use the power of your position to follow up with Metro Parks about unrealized promises for a playground at Morgan Park.

I have corresponded with Metro Parks for almost 4 years regarding necessary upgrades and continue to live with deferred promises, especially regarding a playground. Most recently, I corresponded with Roy Wilson 12 weeks ago, and he assured me that playground construction would be beginning about 2 weeks ago. Ground is still not broken today.

If my memory serves Mayor Dean also told you that Morgan Park was lined up to get a playground last year.

Mr. Wilson also told me in April that a contractor had 70 days to complete a new fountain feature (see below). We are now up to almost 90 days and the fountain is still incomplete.

After four years, it is hard to interpret the slow progress as anything but a lack of commitment to some North Nashville neighborhoods. It is difficult to see upgrades for kids in parks at other ends of the compass in Nashville and wonder whether the delays have simply to do with a lack of will to provide for our kids.

Instead, if things are progressing as expected and this is simply a failure to communicate with us since April, then someone in Metro should be more intentional about updating us on unexpected delays and revised time lines. Salemtown is a neighborhood with a large number of children who rely on Metro Parks, especially when school is out. We continue to be particularly hurt by the closure of the community center on weekends. During that time this walkable neighborhood has had to settle for an obsolete playground or no play ground at all.

Thank you for your service, and please help us out once more.
I had also CC:'ed that letter to Scott Wallace in the Mayor's Office of Neighborhoods, but CM Gilmore replied that she was forwarding my e-mail to MOON to find out where the project stands. MOON has yet to respond.

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