Park Meeting Round-Up – September meeting
Disclaimer: These are not the official minutes of the meeting, only a recollection of the highlights.
The October meeting saw a final presentation and proposal brought forth by Erik Kozak. Erik designed walking trails that will take hikers from the Doty Road entrance up through the Mueller’s Park area, along the river and back to Doty Road. The plans will now be sent off for the Borough Engineer to study and give approval or recommendations on change.
The next topic revolved around creating a parking lot. A few years ago the old Pleasureland pools were filled in. At the time they were badly damaged and were a real safety issue. This deck area is now a very hard fat surface that lacks any bush or tree growth. It has been approximated that 113 cars can safely park in this lot. This would make the lot bigger than the main parking lot at the recreation complex. A parking lot specialist who is also an Oakland resident will be donating his time to create a complete diagram of the new parking area and present it at the November park meeting.
Scattered throughout the grounds are the old Mueller’s park picnic tables. These tables and accompanying benches are made of concrete. Most of them are still in excellent shape and need some TLC. The committee will be doing an inventory of them, and bringing them out of hiding so they can be cleaned and/or painted. The committee will need volunteers for this project; any individual, students or group looking to help out please contact a Park Committee member to get involved. These picnic tables will once again be the center of fun and leisure as they too are re-introduced to the park.
The much anticipated “Name the Park” election is almost upon us. At present there are three names that will be on the ballot: Pleasureland Park, Great Oak Park and Carmine Parente Memorial Park. Details and information will be released at the next Park Committee Meeting.
Each meeting always involve two open sessions. The questions of an audience member makes us think it may be time to review some of what has been discussed over the past 22 months: Nothing is going to be placed, built or designed in the park without full DEP approval. Presently the DEP has the park plans and are assessing what can and cannot be done. All phase 2 projects are on hold until the committee hears back about the DEP’s assessment.
If and when any phase 2 projects are given the green like for development they will all follow strict Joint Insurance Fund (JIF) guidelines. This is the borough’s insurance fund that covers many municipalities. The JIF has already given the committee complete and specific details on how each project (Dog Park, Skate Park etc.) must be built (if they are given the OK by the DEP). Once a phase 2 project is built the JIF will inspect to make sure the guidelines were followed. Only then will they insure the project, as they do all recreation facilities and playgrounds. Nothing is being done renegade and none of these projects will be open without full JIF approval.
Continuing to review, everything prior to the presentation of December 2012 was thoroughly discussed with the all emergency services and DPW. Some of the instructions from the police included road width and specific emergency access; the committee has even offered to purchase police bicycles to help the officers navigate the park. Keeping an eye on safety, one member of the Park committee is an Oakland EMT.
If anyone is unsure of any of the specifics we welcome everyone to review the plans as outlined last year. If anyone has further questions please contact any Park Committee member, they will be more than happy to help you.
A lot of exciting things are happening in the park, as we move closer and closer to opening those park doors for the first time since 1985. Please come to the meetings, share your ideas and watch the park develop right before your eyes.
The next park meeting has been rescheduled for November 12, 2013 8:00pm in the Danny D’Elia Building.
Please follow the parks progress at NewOaklandPark.com
Are you on Twitter? Mike tweets the park’s progress as well as all Oakland Recreation information on his twitter account: @MGuad27, follow him for the most up to date information.