Fort Smith Parks Commission to consider master plan

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 153 views 

The Fort Smith Parks Commission is leaning toward two new studies, now that a spending package has met with voter approval, granting the Parks and Recreation Department access to .25% of the 1% sales tax extension approved at the polls in March.

Director of Parks and Recreation Mike Alsup encouraged support for a feasibility study and a new master plan, which will total “around $150,000.”

The feasibility study would “take a look at all sports in the city as well as other recreational activities and see what the needs are for our region,” Alsup said.

He noted the price tag would run $50,000 and that a new department Master Plan would make up the additional $100,000 to arrive at the $150,000 number.

At a special meeting on Wednesday (May 2), commissioners were not ready to approve prioritization of the upcoming projects over the next 10 years, but noted the following needs would be addressed:
• Construction of two ballfields at Ben Geren Park to replace those removed when the National Cemetery was expanded;
• Aquatics facility operations;
• Improvements in facilities and maintenance at Creekmore Park, Fort Smith Park, Tilles Park and Wilson Park;
• Construction of a softball tournament-quality sports complex at Chaffee Crossing; and,
• Construction of soccer fields and park facilities along Riverfront Drive.

Combined with the Fire Department, Parks and Recreation is estimated to receive around $45 million over a 10-year period.

On Thursday (May 10), the Parks and Recreation Department Commissioners will host a joint meeting with the City of Fort Smith Board of Directors to move forward on a plan for development.

The meeting will take place at the Elm Grove Community Center at Martin Luther King Park, starting at 6:30 p.m.