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City council receives update on City Hall Park

Sep 28, 2016 01:23PM ● Published by Carol Hendrycks

By Carol Hendrycks

When the City Hall playground was constructed, Holladay City was careful to comply with all Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA requirements, including those relating to the composition of the playing surface. Because of the inferior qualities of the rubberized surface and the cost of replacing it, the City Council concluded that it would not be appropriate or feasible to accommodate children who require a firmer playground surface.

A constituent in Councilmember Steve Gunn’s district informed him that that her son, who must use a walker to get around, has found it difficult to use the new playground behind Holladay City Hall because the surface is comprised of a thick layer of wood chips. Gunn raised this issue with the City Council

A constituent in Councilmember Steve Gunn’s district informed him that that her son, who must use a walker to get around, has found it difficult to use the new playground behind Holladay City Hall because the surface is comprised of a thick layer of wood chips. Gunn raised this issue with the City Council this week in the hope that they could better accommodate children with walkers or wheelchairs. Council members who were more directly involved in the planning of the playground pointed out that although the rubberized surface used in some playgrounds would easier movement for handicapped children, it is more likely to cause injury to children who fall on it.

The city is reviewing a more wheelchair-friendly surface for walking paths and recreation areas in the proposed Knudsen’s Corner Park.
 
Holladay City Manager Gina Chamness explained to the council the City Hall Park is ADA compliant but there is still more that can be done to create space that is as inclusive as possible.
 
The city will be meeting with the council subcommittee and staff this coming week to begin planning for the next stage of the park.
 
As new parks in the city are developed, that will definitely be a priority”, said Chamness. 

There is also a grant that the City Hall Park Committee is working on. The City of Holladay has not yet been awarded a grant through the Utah Outdoor Recreation Program, however the city is in the process of applying for the highly competitive grant program for funds of $75,000 to build a multi-use sport court at City Hall Park.
 
The Utah Outdoor Recreation Program was funded with the passage of House Bill 52 during the 2016 Utah legislative session. The program’s purpose is to enhance recreational opportunities and amenities in Utah’s communities. Proposed projects must offer an economic opportunity for the community with the potential to attract or retain residents and/or increase visitation to region.
 
Holly Smith, the grant writer for the proposal, explained the project review criteria also considers project readiness, construction schedule, community need, positive economic impact, recreation value, improved physical and recreational access, budget and project costs, and special considerations for area deficiencies.
 
Grant awards are given at specified tiers from $20,000 up to $75,000 with a 50/50 local match. A total of $530,000 is available statewide. Selected projects must be complete within 24 months of date the funding contract is signed. Funding is provided by reimbursement.

Applications for the current program year opened on July 1, 2016, and the deadline is Aug. 11, 2016. Notification of recommendation for funding is expected by Sept. 23, with final funding approval on Oct. 13, and contracts for grant awardees executed in November 2016. The proposed court will be located in City Hall Park, behind City Hall, likely on the north side of the park space, and will feature amenities for pickle ball, volleyball and basketball. The court will not be shaded. It's in the conceptual design phase, so further refinement is expected. The City Council's City Hall Park Committee will advise on the method of public input, to be determined.

 

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