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Fort Wayne park board approves proposed $5 million bond issue for park repairs, improvements

November 11th, 2016

The proposed work includes a major expansion of the learning center at Salomon Farm Park.

By Kevin Kilbane | News-Sentinel

Completing Franklin School Park, expanding the learning center at Salomon Farm Park and upgrades at Reservoir Park are among the projects included in a proposed $5 million bond issue the Fort Wayne board of park commissioners approved at their meeting Thursday in Citizens Square.

The bond issue still must receive final approval from the Fort Wayne City Council.

The park board had approved seeking a $10 million bond at its October meeting. City council members balked at that total during their Nov. 1 meeting, saying the parks department should move to a pay-as-you-go approach to funding projects.

Discussion resulted in a compromise on a $5 million bond, which received preliminary council approval that night and now will return for final approval.

Funds raised through the $5 million bond and money from grants, donations and its own budget will allow the parks department to complete at least 75 percent of the projects it had included in the $10 million bond proposal, parks Director Al Moll told park board members Thursday. Work will be done over the next few years.

The projects, for which the cost includes bond and other funding sources, include:

  • Franklin School Park at St. Marys and Archer avenues: $1.2 million to complete the west side of the park, which features a plaza, parking lot and renovation of an existing garage building into an enclosed pavilion. The east side opened this fall.
  • Salomon Farm Park, 817 W. Dupont Road: $800,000 to triple the size of the learning center to accommodate more children in summer camps and to provide year-round event rental space. Parks officials also hope to include a "teaching" kitchen that can be used for classes for children and adults.
  • Reservoir Park, Clinton Street and Creighton Avenue: $500,000 for expanding the Cooper Center building and making other improvements in the park.
  • Foellinger Outdoor Theatre in Franke Park: $1.08 million for improvements, including dressing rooms with showers for performers.

Other projects include flooring work and roof replacement at McMillen Park Community Center, $640,000; replacement of huge drains at Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, $500,000; paving in various parks, $1.4 million; and replacing playground surfaces at various parks, $830,000.

Categories Quality of Life