To justify replacing bathrooms at Crest Lake Park city leaders have to spend $1.5 million redeveloping the “neighborhood” park into a “regional” one.
The bathrooms at Crest Lake Park were closed in June 2012 as part of an initiative to usher the homeless into social services. By February residents wanted the bathrooms reopened, at least on a part-time basis. City leaders instead demolished the restroom facility in April and asked for a plan to redevelop the park.
"Are you kidding me? Who are they hiring to do this work? I would love to see this park rehabilitated, but let's get some more realistic numbers. Over half a million on park trails??? It ain't that big a park," Susan said in a comment on the story.
Becky Rosenberg commented on Clearwater Patch's Facebook page: "I rarely see people using this park....but I don't want NOT improving it to cause the area to worsen either."
Some of the amenities included a $290,000 bathroom, $170,000 for a 50 space parking lot and replacing the fishing pier for $165,000.
"It seems to me they are putting numbers up to get shoot (sic) down. Those seems like unrealistic goals for a small park," Michael D. said. "When you have a larger one down the road with some of those items already there."
Readers also suggested redeveloping other parks instead.
Tracey Kelly Quinn commented: "A much better and safer regional park and splashpad would be Woodgate Park near Countryside Mall. Putting that much money into Crest Lake Park just to reopen restrooms for the homeless is not the best option."
Residents are asked to share what it is they want at city parks as part of the update process. Open houses are planned at different places in the city throughout August and September.
When the surveys are complete, officials will have an understanding of what residents want at parks.
Here are the upcoming open house meetings:
Aug. 28, Clearwater Beach Recreation Center, 69 Bay Esplanade
Sept. 3, Countryside Recreation Center, 2640 Sabal Springs Drive
Sept. 4, Aging Well Center at the Long Center, 1501 N. Belcher Road
An interim report of the master plan process will be given to city leaders in October, that will include an update on Crest Lake Park plans.