Finnup Park master plan meetings slated

4/19/2013

By SCOTT AUST

By SCOTT AUST

saust@gctelegram.com

Two public meetings scheduled next week are designed to get the public's opinions on ways to improve Finnup Park and help create a master plan to guide the park's future.

Schwab-Eaton, a Manhattan-based professional engineering and design firm, will be in Garden City on Tuesday and Wednesday to talk about potential improvements and additions and to see if people want to make any changes to how the parkland is used. Garden City residents are invited to attend and participate in the planning process.

Originally, the planning meetings were scheduled for late February, but had to be postponed due to bad weather.

Alex Mestdagh, assistant city engineer, said their aren't any changes to the meeting format, or the goals of the planning sessions.

"These master planning meetings are intended to focus on the Finnup Park areas," he said. "There are existing master plans for other entities that have facilities in the park — the recreation commission, the zoo, and the Finney County Historical Society. We would like to consolidate those existing plans, as well as come up with some new plans for the park areas."

The purpose of the planning effort is to develop an overall master plan for Finnup Park that also consolidates the master plans for Lee Richardson Zoo, the Finney County Historical Museum and the ball field areas into a single, manageable master plan document.

An informational kickoff meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the City Administrative Center, 301 N. Eighth St. At this meeting, the consultant will solicit input from the public regarding their vision and desires for the park.

Throughout the day on Wednesday, the consultants will develop conceptual plans that reflect public input heard the previous evening. Interested citizens are welcome to participate in the workshop at the administrative center as their schedules allow.

During the second public meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the administrative center, the consultant will present the various plans developed during the workshop and solicit public critique of the ideas.

Finnup Park is the city's largest park, covering 110 acres in total including the Municipal Pool, Finney County Historical Museum and Lee Richardson Zoo. According to the city's website, the park includes six picnic shelters, nine barbecue grills, electricity access at most shelters, three playground areas and public restroom facilities. It also includes a wooden gazebo located past the Main Street entrance, which is popular for outdoor weddings.

While the zoo, the museum and the city recreation commission have master plans covering their portions of the park, the open parkland area does not.

The park master plan will address the open spaces, playgrounds and shelters while also incorporating the other three organization's master plans.

After next week's meetings, the consultant will take all the information and comments into consideration while creating a master plan over a couple of months. When completed, the plan will be presented to the city commission.

For more information about next week's meetings, contact Mestdagh at 276-1130 or alex.mestdagh@gardencityks.us.

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