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Monmouth plans range of upgrades for its parks

MONMOUTH -- More than $187,000 could be poured into enhancements in Monmouth's parks during the next two years.

MONMOUTH -- More than $187,000 could be poured into enhancements in Monmouth's parks during the next two years.

Those improvements range from a pavilion and restrooms at Madrona Park to a complete revamp of the fountain at Main Street Park.

The city's Parks and Recreation Board recently recommended allocating funding for seven projects using a portion of the $640,000 in system development charges that has accrued in the last several years.

"They're trying to give us options for very visible things that will show the city we're paying attention to what citizens are saying," said City Councilor Kathy Fultz. "I think (the projects) are definitely going to help."

The council will approve or deny the recommendations at its May meeting. Pending that, the city could initiate some projects as early as this summer.

The first priorities will be getting the electrical systems of Main Street and Gentle Woods parks -- both severely damaged during the December winter storms -- repaired or replaced, said City Manager Scott Mcclure. Total cost for those items is $15,000.

Nearly $60,000 is slated to go to upgrades at Madrona Park. A quarter of that is to be spent on plans for a pavilion and restroom facility at the west end of the 9.8-acre park.

More than $40,000 would be spent on development of a perimeter walking trail at Madrona, and another $5,000 for a small arboretum.

The largest dollar amount, $100,000, would be used to aid in renovating or upgrading the fountain at Main Street Park. Mayor John Oberst said the plumbing and pump of the 1930s structure have "been extended long beyond their lifetime."

A new public art sculpture that could double as a splash park for children has been mulled, Oberst said.

"We would look for something visible and impactful that might bring people into the downtown area during the summer," Oberst said.

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