Sayre Park Master Plan’s implementation would carry with it a $3.1 million price tag
It was not long before a work session Thursday for Glenwood Springs City Council to provide feedback to city staff concerning proposed Sayre Park improvements turned into a budget discussion.
After contracting with the city of Glenwood Springs in April, Zehren and Associates presented its Sayre Park Master Plan to city council this week.
According to Zehren and Associates’ principal, landscape architect and land planner Pedro Campos, the master plan’s implementation as presented Thursday carries with it a price tag of approximately $3.1 million.
Ahead of Campos’ presentation, Councilor Tony Hershey expressed his concerns over the project’s cost and whether it was worth city staff’s time to pursue further at this juncture.
“I feel like sometimes I am in an episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ where these projects don’t go away and they keep rising up,” Hershey said. “We say we can’t afford them but here it is again.”
Thursday’s work session came after council elected to spend over $2 million on the Two Rivers Park Project at a special council meeting Sept. 20.
While acquisition and improvement reserve funds largely financed the Two Rivers Park project, coming up with over $3 million for Sayre Park improvements, simply put, was not feasible to city councilors.
“This project is needed,” Glenwood Springs Parks and Recreation Director Brian Smith said. “Families that have children with disabilities or families that have parents with disabilities cannot access the park.”
While improving Sayre Park’s accessibility with new ramps and stairs was deemed a top priority, converting one of the park’s tennis courts into four pickleball courts was not.
Knowing the city’s budget could not shake loose the millions needed to fund all of the enhancements, staff will instead zero in on improvements deemed as needs over wants – namely park accessibility.
After receiving feedback from over 50 residents at a community meeting in May as well as over 400 responses via a public survey, Campos condensed three previous Sayre Park schematics into one Sayre Park Master Plan.
In addition to new ramps, stairs and the addition of pickleball, the master plan also envisioned a new multi-use court, an expanded playground, a restroom expansion, as well as additional enforcement and management of the park’s existing parking supply.
Given the park’s popularity, Councilor Paula Stepp inquired whether or not any community organizations had expressed interest in volunteering their own time and possibly funds toward Sayre Park’s improvements.
According to Smith organizations like Game On Camps, which teaches children fitness and character development; The Arc of the Central Mountains – which promotes and protects human and civil rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities – and Rotary have offered to help.
Because the 2020 budget has already been approved, any improvements using taxpayer money appear years down the road. For the time being, city staff will look for possible grant funding as well as help from the community.
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