The Don Fox Park advisory team will develop a master plan and make recommendations to Mayor Bernie Ash regarding the future renovations of Don Fox Park. The council approved up to $500,000 last month for renovations, repair, replacement and additions to the park’s infrastructure.
Some members were described as instrumental in the park’s creation in 1995. Members include: Alex Buhler, David Hale, Lanny Jewell, Mark Lee and Sue Vanatta.
Councilors agreed loose nails, wood splits and other factors lead to the need to replace the material. Ward 1 Councilor Joey Carmack, who will serve as an ex-officio member, said a brick wall could be placed at the playground entrance with the names currently engraved in the wood pieces.
Councilors also relayed concerns from residents about the protection aspect of the park.
“I’ve had some people raise concerns. Twenty-five years ago when this was built, times were not like they are today,” said Carmack. “I had a lady come to me and say she couldn’t relax with her children in there and she had to follow them throughout the whole park. It’s got some places. I know when I when I was little, there were places a kid could go under there and get stuck and no one know it for hours.”
The council approved a $5 million loan agreement for the park last year after Council Rick Bell and his family donated 15 acres for the park in the Hamilton Springs development.
Lebanon Finance Commissioner Robert Springer said the resolutions authorize a 25-year, fixed rate loan and the estimated debt service annually would be approximately $250,000. Springer said the interest rate would be 2.29 percent and subject to change every five years.
The park’s earliest concept plan called for an amphitheater, park shelters, gladiator seating, restrooms, picnic pavilions, playgrounds, great lawn, changing rooms and food truck lane, among other items.
Ash appointed three task force members and each councilor received one appointment for the task force that will develop a master plan, recommend a timeline, report recommendations to the council and oversee all phases of the park’s construction.
Ash appointees were Paul Gould, Barbara Payne and Traci Peel. Council appointees include: T.O. Cragwall (Carmack); Adam Pastors (Fred Burton); Amber Hurdle (Rob Cesternino); MJ Lucas (Chris Crowell); Ken Davis (Tick Bryan); and JeniLind Brinkman (Bell).
Bell will also serve as an ex-officio for the west side park task force, as William Porter, Lebanon parks and recreation director, Jeff Baines, Lebanon public works commissioner, Sarah Haston, Lebanon economic development director, and Lebanon Planning Director Paul Corder will serve as ex-officio for both groups.