VOL. 110 | NO. 93 | Friday, May 10, 1996
5/10 jts park commission
Park Commission wants facilities master plan
By JAMES SNYDER
The Daily News
Memphis Park Commission wants to develop a facilities master plan to determine needs and uses of the citys public parks and centers.
The commission is taking proposals from design, landscape and engineering firms to survey the use of public facilities and propose changes that could better serve the people who use them.
Some neighborhoods have no community center, for example, while others have an abundance. Some areas need senior centers, while others need youth facilities.
The need for a plan seems to have stemmed from the controversy over whether the city should purchase the Whitehaven Country Club to replace McKellar Park, which was sold to the Airport Authority, said Ron Griffin, acting manager of building design and construction with the park commission.
The City Council wanted to buy the facility, and the debate pointed toward the need for a master plan to outline what the city had and what it needed, Griffin said.
That assertion perplexed city councilman Jerome Rubin, who said the two issues were not linked. Rubin held a public meeting on the Whitehaven purchase two months ago, but nothing has been done since then.
While he conceded a general plan for park facilities is probably a good idea, Rubin stressed that in this case the Whitehaven purchase would be the only public facility in that area of the city.
Terrence Woods, the park commissions acting deputy director, took the middle road, saying that the plan was "one of our top priorities," that happened to coincide with the Whitehaven debate.
In any event, funding for the plan survey has not been allocated yet, Woods said. The money is tied up in a capital request with the commissions 1996-97 budget proposal which goes before the City Council.
But he said the commission was eager to get started on the plan as soon as possible.
Griffin said an evaluation of public facilities citywide is needed. The plan would determine "if we were starting from scratch, what should we have in the way of park facilities."
That would "then relate that to what we currently have to identify any areas of deficiency or overlap and establish what projected needs would be," he said. The plan would give a 10-year projection at a minimum.