Ribbon cutting held for new park


Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Joe Crown of Crown Construction is joined by local dignitaries, city officials and community members as he cuts the ribbon for Almond Park on Monday.

 

A new park was welcomed into the community during a ribbon cutting at Almond Park (890 Ivy Glen Drive) and it is the first of many more to come.


Madera City Manager Arnoldo Rodriguez said that there are as many as three more parks to be built in Madera within the next year, including a park on Olive and Knox in which the city received a $2 million grant to build.


“One of the things we are taking a hard look at is the placement of our parks to make sure they are accessible,” Rodriguez said. “There are a couple of challenges with parks. Do you go after large parks? Do you try to put some of the parks in subdivisions? Right now, we are taking a hybrid approach. We’re trying to address some of the issues with Town and Country and Rotary to make sure they are up to par. At the same time, we don’t want the neighborhoods falling behind. As part of new development, we are strategically identifying where the community could benefit from smaller parks with more access to the neighborhoods. We’ve done that in a couple of situations.”


The Almond Park was built by Joseph Crown, the developer of the subdivision the park is in.


“However, the city is going to reimburse the developer for the cost,” Rodriguez said. “At the end of the day, the city would have paid for the park through development impact fees. The cost for the park was about $600,000.”


Another park is planned for Olive and Knox and it will be a brand new park that Rodriguez hopes to begin moving dirt some time next year.


“It will be close to Sierra Vista Elementary,” he said. “We started the design on the park and are hoping to have it go to Request For Proposal (RFP) and construction will start in a year. That will be a brand-new park from the ground-up. That will have a half-court basketball court, table tennis, a play structure, barbecue area and a small trail around the area.”


The City Council has awarded the contract for the design. They will then request construction proposals to get the park built.


“Once it gets awarded, we will start construction,” Rodriguez said. “Those funds have some aggressive timelines. We want to get started sooner than later. We have the money and want to spend the money because it’s a benefit for the community.”

In addition, the City received a $609,000 grant to make improvements on McNally Park.


“That’s a Community Block Development grant,” Rodriguez said. “We are focusing on the playground, making sure to upgrade it, the water fountains, trash cans and the basketball courts.”


Like the Almond Park, there are a couple of other parks that will be built within subdivision by developers, but the city will reimburse the developer for the cost.


“Crown is building another subdivision off of Tozer,” Rodriguez said. “That division will have a park. We will have a new park within the KB subdivision on the south side of Cleveland Avenue. We will reimburse the developer, as well. The other park we are looking at is on Pecan and State Route 145, west of Parkwood. That’s going to have a smaller playground and park.”


Hopefully, Rodriguez said, within the next year, as many as four new parks will be built in Madera without costing the city money, except from developer fees.


“There’s opportunity where developers can build the parks with their resources,” Rodriguez said. “There’s times where we are aggressive with new structures and are aggressive in securing grants for it. And there’s other grants to improve of what we have.”