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Silva Park Plans Move Forward
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Phase II will begin in the Spring of 2014 to add a restroom, shade structure, picnic tables, preparation for a spray park, flatwork, and two concrete ping pong tables to Silva Park. VIRGINIA STILL/The News

All members of the Riverbank City Council agreed to continue with Silva Park Phase II and III moving forward with Option 1 which includes future plans of a water park at the final meeting of the year on Monday, Dec. 9.

Sue Fitzpatrick, Director of Parks and Recreation presented a detailed report about Silva Park’s Master Plan and an update on the three phases to the City Council and the public.

Silva Park is the largest park in Crossroads at eight acres and was primarily a drainage basin. The park is located in a Landscape and Lighting District. The park had enough flat space at the top of the basin for development. After meeting with an architect and members within the community, in 2004 the city created a Master Plan for Silva Park that would be completed in three phases.

In 2005, Phase I of the park was completed and consisted of a playground, basketball courts, signage and landscaping. The cost for completing Phase I was $395,398 with $348,398 of the funds covered with development fees. The other $47,000 was provided by Prop 40 per capita funding that was available for park development.

“That was a nice funding source that we had then,” said Fitzpatrick. “We thought Phase II would happen sooner, but it has been almost nine years.”

Fitzpatrick attended a conference on spray parks earlier this year and found that there were new codes and requirements. Due to the new codes and requirements the cost of the project will increase.

Plans for Phase II will begin in spring 2014 and should be completed by summer, according to Fitzpatrick, “if all goes as planned.”

The city has the funding to proceed with Phase II even with the new requirements but has limited funding for the spray park itself, which would be developed during Phase III.

For this reason the park plans were brought back to the city council for direction.

Phase II will consist of a restroom, shade structure, picnic tables, preparation for a spray park, flatwork and two cement tennis tables. The city has the tables in storage and they are available to be placed in the park.

The plan for Phase III is to have a spray park. The city would be required to include a treated recirculation system for the water, a men’s and women’s restroom with a changing area, hot water, and an outdoor shower. With those new requirements the city would need to install a larger restroom than they had originally planned to build.

The expense of the project could be funded by the Landscape and Lighting District and system development fees, however, the direct construction and maintenance costs associated with the spray park are not an eligible Lighting and Landscaping expense. The city would need to depend on future development for Phase III to fund the spray park.

Operational costs also need to be considered which could be as high as $50 per operational day or $6000 per year for seasonal only use. The general fund would be responsible for one third of the cost for maintenance and the Landscape and Lighting District would pay for two thirds of the cost.

Regardless of the size of park or number of water amenities the cost for the recirculation is a challenge both upfront and for ongoing maintenance costs, said officials.

The City Council was asked to consider two options.

Option 1 was to proceed with the development of Phase II in the spring of 2014, which will include the amenities meeting the new code requirements and the preparation for the spray park. Total Cost: $165,000 paid for by Landscape & Lighting District and system development fees. Proceed with Phase III when funding is secured through future development. The cost of the spray park is estimated at $250,000.

Option 2 was to proceed with the development of Phase II which will include the restroom, picnic area, benches, tables and two cement table tennis tables. Cover all expenses with the Landscape & Lighting District fund, not meeting the codes for the spray park. Eliminate Phase III and the spray park from this location. Total cost: $114,000 paid by Landscape & Lighting District Funds.

Mayor Richard O’Brien expressed that he believes families would fill their recreational needs with a high quality water park and it would create a healthier community.

“I don’t believe we should consider eliminating the spray park whatsoever,” said O’Brien. “I think we should be able to meet it when it comes up, to meet those recreational needs, it’s nice to have shade to swing but a kid can play in a spray park for endless hours multiple times a week and not lose interest. So I would recommend that we move forward on that.”

“I agree with what you are saying Mayor but I also have a hard time with putting things in place that we don’t necessarily have funds that we are looking at right now,” said Leanne Jones Cruz. “I just want to kind of put that out there that I think we need to think about some of those things before we extend ourselves beyond what we can handle.”

“And really either option is a good option,” added Jill Anderson, City Manager. “It really is a chance for the council to look at not only the cost today but ongoing maintenance costs and what do we foresee happening in the next few years with hopefully enhancing our revenues and enhancing our services but it is an important discussion to have because there is a slight bit of risk and it’s betting that we will have the development funds and the maintenance ability to do the park.”

The funds that are available from system development fees need to be spent on the park and cannot be used anywhere else.

“I am in favor of the spray park, I think it will be a great idea to continue with active living and healthiness for our community,” said Darlene Barber-Martinez, councilmember.

“From the proposed cost to the general fund I don’t see it impacting the general fund that much,” said Cal Campbell, councilmember. “And since these other funds have to be used for the purposes of that particular park or that area, I think it would also be attractive for this community to have some modernization like that to attract residents to show that we are staying with the times.”

“I am in agreement with all the comment made so far and I would like to see us move forward with the park development as originally planned,” said Jeannine Tucker, councilmember. “I did not want to see us eliminate the spray park.”

At the end of the meeting the consensus from all members is to move forward with Option 1.