Central park grabs spotlight

Parks Committee members Rhonda Fredericks (left) and Connie Anderson address the Tracy City Council on Monday, asking for its support to enter into a sole source agreement with ISG for a master plan on the Central Park project. Photo / Per Peterson

Parks Committee focuses beautification efforts on Tracy’s largest park

By Per Peterson

Connie Anderson and Rhonda Fredericks brought a spark of energy to Monday’s Tracy City Council meeting, and their enthusiasm spread throughout the council.

The pair is part of Tracy’s new Parks Committee and used this week’s council meeting to inform the council of the group’s intent on focusing on long-term improvements at Central Park. After their presentation, the council voted unanimously to enter into a sole source contract with the City’s engineering firm to develop a proposal for improvements at the park. The vote essentially means the City can by-pass the quote requirement for costs over $5,000.

“We’re just asking to please give us this chance to show you what we can do,” Fredericks said in her opening remarks to the council. “We have a lot of great energy, a lot of good discussion. We think that by having a plan, it will save us a lot of headaches in the future. We think this will be a really good investment.”

The five-member Parks Committee believes that because of limited resources it would be best to focus on Central Park rather than make smaller improvements throughout the City’s park system. The committee also believes that having a viable plan will give direction for future improvements and help show the community its vision in order to bolster fundraising efforts. With that said, the committee asked the City to approach ISG and ask it to submit a proposal for a Central Park Master Plan. ISG has a landscape architect division that does a lot of work similar to this and submitted a proposal for $11,700 to complete the work in time for the City to apply for a DNR grant in March. After discussion, the Parks Committee earlier this year voted unanimously to accept the proposal and ask city council for funding for the plan.

“I think we have a very excited, active group right now, and I think we need to show our support,” said council member Jeri Schons, who made the motion to support the sole source contract with ISG. “This is one of our goals — beautifying the city and improving our parks. It falls right into place with what we want to do to move this community forward.” The motion was seconded by council member Seth Schmidt, who is also a member of the Parks Committee.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.