The city has owned two park sites that haven’t been developed because of a shortage of money. But that’s about to change.
City Manager Toby Wells said the city hopes to finish the design of both parks within the next three months and build the first phase consisting primarily of hardscape and playground areas.
Until now the city has not developed Eastgate and Lions parks. The city owns about 7.5 acres of the undeveloped 10-acre Eastgate Park site located east of Eastgate Boulevard and south of Hatch Road. For over a decade now the city has owned the 10-acre Lions Park site on River Road between Central and Richland avenues but done nothing to develop it in an area that is underserved by parks.
“At this point, Lions is a bit ahead of Eastgate (park),” said Wells. “We don’t have fixed timelines yet, but would hope to be under construction with Lions Park by the end of this year and early next year for Eastgate, a little sooner for both if we can.”
The city is budgeting about $800,000 for each project, funded out of Public Facilities Fees paid by past developers. Wells said there is also the potential for some state funding.
The city most recently finished Marie Neel Park near Sam Vaughn Elementary School on Ceres’ east side. Last summer a dog park was added to the northern section of the park north of Helen Perry Road.
In its modified Strategic Plan, the Ceres City Council determined that finishing the two parks is a priority.