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Public weighs in on west side park

Xavier Smith • Mar 30, 2017 at 8:26 PM

Dozens of residents made their way to Lebanon Town Hall on Thursday to view and give input on preliminary plans for the west side park.

The council approved a $5 million loan agreement for the park last year after Councilor 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 about $250,000. Springer said the interest rate would be 2.29 percent and subject to change every five years.

Lose & Associates will lead the design phase of the project.

JeniLind Brinkman, west side task force committee chairman, said Thursday’s meeting was an opportunity for residents to highlight their favorite potential components of the park, which will be take into consideration to create a final park plan.

Brinkman said Lose & Associates took ideas from the task force to create the preliminary park layout.

“They took that and came up with a design. One thing we really want to point out about this design is that it really works with the topography of that acreage, instead of against it,” Brinkman said.

She said sloped areas would feature components that work with the angles, such as a small amphitheater, while flat areas would feature compatible aspects, such as a dog park.

“As a group, we are pretty excited about this,” she said.

Some words the group used to describe the desired park included safe, sustainable, open, connected, fun and active, among others. Words used to describe how they did not envision the park included crowded, isolated, exclusive, Nashville-like and limited, among other things.

The preliminary plans called for a splash play area, fitness stations, playgrounds, about a 90-yard green space, dog parks and walking trails, which Brinkman said was non-negotiable.

“That is going to stay in the design. Everybody wants to get out and moving and we need to as a nation. We wanted a safe place that we could walk and move,” said Brinkman, who said the group unanimously agreed on the walking trails and dog parks.

Brinkman said the different personalities on the board made for a great preliminary design.

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