December 10, 2010
by John Kiljan
On December 7th, the City of Arvada held its second and final community meeting to receive public input on the reconstruction of the North Jeffco Community Park and the adjacent Hoskinson Park. Approximately 110 people attended the meeting held at the King of Glory Lutheran Church.
An hour of presentation material was followed by a 30-minute question-and-answer session by members of the City Staff and Apex representatives. The City plans to put up all of the night’s presentation material on its Arvada.org website. No deadline was given for providing input online for those who were not able to attend, but the design consultant is soon expected to create a finalized concept plan.
Much of the presentation addressed how the revised concept plan incorporated the comments received during first community meeting held six weeks earlier. A list of recreational facilities to be included in the new park was not shown, but many could be seen on the concept plan drawing. Hard-copy printouts of the concept plan were made available to the community meeting attendees. At press time, online versions of the new concept plan and presentation material were not available on the City’s website, but a detailed .PDF file was made available to Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community and can be seen on its own website at http://www.RalstonCommunity.com.
An option for a pool was not included in the final concept plan offered for comment. However, unlike the previous community meeting, the City and Apex did devote much of their presentation time to say why they decided not to include a pool option in the remaining plan. At the previous October 26th community meeting, the attendees had a show-of-hands vote of 37 to 24 (61% to 39%) in favor of retaining the pool over replacing it with a splash pad.
Mike Miles, Apex’s Executive Director, pointed out that construction costs were not the primary consideration in deciding not to offer a pool option, but operating costs were. He said pools are relatively inexpensive to build (about 30 cents per family per day) but they do not collect enough income to cover their operating costs. Apex was not willing to run a facility like that at an annual operating loss.
Vicky Reier, Arvada’s Assistant City Manager, repeated earlier assertions that there was not enough room to put a pool in the park. Using a paper cutout she showed how the area expected to remain above the 100-year flood plain after reconstruction was too small to accommodate a pool. She said that court sports that must have a fence around them also had to be located outside of the new flood plain limits.
Ms Reier also said that about four feet of earth will be excavated from the park within the flood plain. City designers said that it will take four to six months before they have decided exactly how much material must be excavated from the park to accommodate the new flood channel. Not discussed were earlier suggestions that the excavated earthwork could itself be used to expand the area above the flood plain to allow for more court sports or even a replacement Fisher pool.
In the meantime, an aggressive tree removal program must start this month since cutting down trees in the spring would adversely affect nesting birds. The oldest and most damaged trees will be removed first, starting this month. The memorial trees and others will be taken out next fall. There is a possibility that some firewood-length cuts will be made available for local residents to haul away. The rest of the trees will be recycled. A Tribute to the Trees ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, December 15th at 10:00 am in the park’s pavilion before the tree removal begins.
Immediate public feedback during the Q&A session covered many subjects. A round of applause greeted a suggestion to keep the sledding hill near the center of the parks. Others expressed disappointment at the lack of a pool option. Many were concerned about so many trees being removed so soon and wondered about park access during construction. The City may provide summaries of public comment on its website.
No mention was made at the meeting of the City’s application for a $500,000 Jefferson County Open Space grant needed to rebuild the park. Nor did any Arvada City Council members who were present speak.
The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community (CLRC) organizers handed out its first green-sheet fliers soliciting for participation in the new Ralston Road neighborhood association.
How to Comment and Find Out More
The City’s primary email address for public feedback on the concept plan is Vicky Reier at VICKY-R@arvada.org. You may also call her at 720-898-7509.
Comments and questions about design details and included recreational facilities can also be directed to Arvada’s design consultant, Bill Neumann with DHM Design, at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you write to him, be sure to cc: a copy to Vicky as well.
Apex’s Executive Director, Mike Miles, can be contacted at email@example.com. His phone number is 303-424-2739. Apex is likely to operate and maintain any recreational facilities built in the park.
The City’s Garrison Street bridge and park reconstruction website can be found at
but there is no feedback option on that website.
Also Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community (CLRC) has its own under-construction website at http://www.RalstonCommunity.com and invites public comment there on its blog page.
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