Knightdale Council seems to favor second playground as next major park project

mhankerson@newsobserver.comMarch 28, 2014 

— Town officials are working to parse out money for the next big projects in the second phase of Knightdale Station Park, but first they have to decide when to fund which projects.

During a budget committee meeting on March 19, councilors seemed to favor prioritizing another playground set.

Mayor Russell Killen said he saw some children waiting in line for their turn on the current playground set.

Parks and Recreation Director Tina Cheek didn’t have an estimate for how much the design stages of a second playground would cost, but the department’s construction estimate was $100,000.

The single playground at the park right now includes two shelters, cost $192,240 and was paid for through grants.

The town didn’t have a timeline for getting the additional playground, but Killen said it would have to happen eventually.

The park’s proposed water tower and misting station, however, is tied to a deadline because of the grant that funds it.

A North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant is paying for the water tower and one of the provisions of the grant is to have it completed by February 2017.

The $400,000 grant – the largest in the department’s history – will also pay for two shelters and the amphitheater area. Without the grant, the misting station/water tower would have to be removed from the park’s plans.

Cheek also briefed council members on an arboretum dedicated to Billy Wilder, a former Knightdale mayor who sold the land that became Knightdale Station Park.

Design costs are estimated to be around $50,000 and council is scheduled to see a design plan for the arboretum at its next meeting.

There was an arboretum committee that created a plan approved by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. Like all plans that come from town committees, it must be reviewed and approved by the town council before being adopted.

Construction is estimated to come in around $250,000 if the town is open to using volunteers in building the arboretum.

Cheek said the town is open to large volunteer groups, like companies, donating time and services but is also willing to find jobs for individual volunteers.

She said volunteers would also play an important role in the upkeep of the feature.

Cheek also discussed the costs of an additional picnic shelter, how to fund the proposed skate park and a wooden dock for a pond on the property.

Council also suggested looking into providing more parking near the park.

Hankerson: 919-829-4826; Twitter: @easternwakenews

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