Collegedale Holding Public Hearing On Future Of Imagination Station

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - by Gail Perry

Signs that are posted at Imagination Station announcing that the playground will close in September, will be temporarily removed. Today (Tuesday) at 6 p.m., a public meeting is scheduled to discuss the repair and upgrade of the park.

At the commission meeting Monday night Vice Mayor Tim Johnson suggested postponing the demolition of the old wooden structures until the residents had expressed their opinions for what they would like to see in the renewed park. After that meeting, the commissioners will consider the options.

Funds to do the upgrade were given by an anonymous donor, said Mr. Johnson; the money will not expire, so no time limit is necessary. Mayor John Turner commented that the commission has an idea of what should be done, but that might change after the public meeting. Commissioner Debbie Baker said there are a lot of pieces of playground equipment that look great but that kids never use. She said that is wasted money and not what Collegedale wants. The equipment should be educational and utilized, she said.   

The commissioners are hoping for a large number of Collegedale residents and others from the surrounding communities that use the park to participate in the meeting. It will be held at the Collegedale city hall that is located in front of Imagination Station. Representatives from two companies that install playgrounds will be present along with city officials to hear the discussions.

 In his financial report City Manager Ted Rogers told the commission that Collegedale had received $433,956 from the Hall state income tax for 2013-2014 which is more than was expected. Mayor Turner proposed exploring the possibility of using some of the Hall tax to put a “splash park” at Imagination Station. Another idea he suggested is to partially cover some of the playground with a specialized mesh in order to create shade in some areas.

 Once more definite plans have been made about the playground the project will be put out to bid. The commission is planning for the installation to be finished by Christmas.

 Joe Farrow, the city engineer, presented a request for the commissioners to approve to transfer ownership of a section of sewer from the city of Collegedale to Southern Adventist University. The meter would also be moved upstream beyond the Hulsey Wellness Center. Those actions will assign liability as well as ownership and maintenance for that portion of the sewer line, to the University. City Attorney Sam Elliott will prepare a resolution concerning this matter that will be voted on at the first commission meeting in September.

A request has been made to purchase city-owned right of way property that runs along old Lee Highway. In order to sell the land, it must first be declared excess property. Commissioners gave approval to change the status to excess property. Mr. Farrow will now have the land appraised to determine the value before it is sold for development.

  On second and final reading, an ordinance was approved that rezoned property on Lee Highway from C-2 (Commercial District) to AG (Agricultural District).

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