Funds allocated for critical work at Westview Park

With all the recent improvements to the Westview Park, including new artificial turf, fencing and parking for the lower baseball field, there are still issues that need immediate attention, according to Councilman Paul Smoot.

“We’ve got a lot of future concerns…We’ve got sidewalks being undercut by that hill sliding…we’ve got so many things that are a mess up there,” he said at Monday’s budget meeting.

The walkway at the northeast area of the lower ball field is at risk of being damaged by erosion of the cut bank

Along with Councilman Dick Claar, Public Works Director Cory Allison and HDR Engineering’s Nick VanWyne, Smoot walked around the park last week. The group found that the recently built walk and bike way that meanders through Westview Park is under threat of destabilization by construction on the ball field; lack of funds at the time did not allow completion of the project.

At the second budget workshop Monday morning, members of the council further discussed the problems found.

“There are so many different things,” said Smoot. “The sidewalk that goes around the ball field is being undercut because that wasn’t finished up [and] the whole wall on the other side is being undercut in two or three areas.”

“We’re going to have that whole hill down on that ball [field] if we don’t get a retaining wall up there,” opined Claar.

Smoot noted that the town is currently maintaining five parks and, “We don’t really have a line in here that I see that says we’re going to designate this much fund[ing] to ‘what if’, like the issues we have at the ball field right now.”

He opined that to take care of this immediate issue will potentially cost around $16,000.

To facilitate the protection of the park improvements to date, a line item with a beginning balance of $15,000 was added specifically for park improvements/upgrades.

“That has the tie to it that the council has to approve any of the moneys coming out,” said Councilman Owen Mathews.

-Grace Moore