Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Parks Department Waiting Game

If you are like me, you are wondering, after a year has passed, where are the $200,000-worth of improvements to Morgan Park that were promised to have happened over a period of a few months? We were supposed to see a greenway spur and greenway extension through Germantown, new gardens, modifications to the baseball field, and a brand spanking new playground. All we have seen so far are some minor upgrades to the Community Center, some attractive old bushes pulled up by the roots, and some small saplings placed in straight line rows after some random old hackberries were cut down. It does not look like $200,000-worth of improvements to me. In fact, calling the removal of stately bushes and the planting of tiny little trees "improvements" is charitable, in a bend-backwards-until-your-spine-snaps kind of way. I'm not impressed so far.

Some Germantown folk told me that the Parks Department told them that they would be working on greenway connectors this summer. Well, the summer is almost over and there is no evidence of any greenway work. So, I took it upon myself to follow up with Metro Parks and to find out what gives. Here is the response I got back from Director Roy Wilson:
Our designers (Gresham Smith and Carol Ashworth) are working on the alignment of the greenway trail from Downtown to MetroCenter and the spur section through Morgan Park and are putting together the bid documents so we can begin construction. We have also designed the new playground and are securing estimates for re-fencing and site amenities around the park. In this year's proposed capital funding, we are proposing $400,000 for renovation of the center. There is no holding pattern, but we are trying to get all of it pulled together.
Therefore, we are playing the waiting game around Morgan Park. Unfulfilled promises linger and await designers, bidders, and worst of all approval by the Metro Council. We've seen what bad things happen to budgets that fall into Metro Council hands. So, at this point, anything can happen, but one thing is assured: it will continue to be a "few months" at the very least before the improvements of Morgan Park commence. Let's hope we are not still waiting next August.

1 comment:

  1. Well, at least we have Ludye looking out for our interests...

    When is that next council election, again??