The Lebanon City Council provided more details on an estimated $1 million city park the city is looking to build on Cairo Bend Road during a work session and public meeting held Wednesday.

Goodall Homes is donating a 16-acre property to the city for the park, which is expected to open by next fall.

"I'm excited about this … a park in Ward 6 has been a long time coming," City Councilor Jeni Lind Brinkman said. "When I came on in December, one repetitive request that I'm hearing from the residents of Ward 6 is, 'when are we going to get a park?' I've kept that front and center and looked for the best opportunity for that. Goodall Homes approached us about this, (and) it really felt like a great fit … and it shows their investment into Lebanon, which I think is vital right now."

Funding for the project's first phase was previously budgeted when the city cancelled a $5 million park project and redistributed funds for smaller parks, including the one at Cairo Bend.

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The location also allows for additions or expansions to the park, meaning potential for further expense after it opens. Brinkman is currently researching grant options, whether for the initial price tag or future additions (one possibility mentioned was adding a restroom).

"We could pursue a Recreational Trails Program grant, which is 80/20 money," she said. "We can likely use the land value as our match for that. We'll start with natural surface trails, and if down the road there's a need to go to pave we can pursue the grant option."

Goodall Homes also cut costs to the city by donating the property and paying design fees.

"We approached councilwoman Brinkman and drew out a couple of ideas (for this property), and the one that was resounding for us was the potential for a park," Goodall Homes Land Acquisition Manager Wayne Miller said. "Don Fox Community Park is such a magnet, but we need to have some things outside of that in these key growth corridors. We're hoping (this park) is going to create lasting memories for decades to come."

Heather Grimes, a project manager and landscape architect at Ragan Smith Associates Inc., presented the firm's preliminary design for the build during the meeting.

"The best way to describe this is that it's a passive park," she said. "Our focuses are on trail systems, open recreational areas and a quarter of an acre playground in the central area. We really wanted to … highlight and showcase what was already existing on site, which is beautiful."

Another goal for the park is to have it built within walking distance of nearby residential neighborhoods.

"This isn't a future 'what if' or a wish list," Miller said. "This is happening. We've worked really hard to get the numbers correct and are developing this site. We're excited to be a part of that and to really help with the vision the city has … asked us to be a part of."

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