The and the city of Belmont have recently taken a giant step forward in the design and development of the Davey Glen Park project, which has been in the works for close to two decades.
But some Belmont residents are worried that another important project may have been leap-frogged in the process.
The , comprised of three separate sports fields, each receiving huge amounts of traffic from local youngsters, is in significant need of new turf, as the current turfing has declined drastically since the Complex’s conception in the late 80s.
Parks and Recreations Director Jonathan Gervais said preliminary steps have been taken in the process to upgrade the complex in the form of .
“We’ve selected a firm to help us design the Sports Complex turf project,” Gervais said. “City council gave us permission to select a firm to decide how are we going to do this, what’s the drainage system going to look like, how are we going to rebuild the field; so we’re going to start moving ahead with that process of designing it.”
“That’s the main update, that we’ve gotten through that first hurdle,” he added.
According to Gervais, however, at the top of the priority list remains Davey Glen Park.
“Our department’s planning has been to move along with Davey Glen first, and then move on with the Complex, understanding that Davey Glen is a lot further in the design process and the Complex is just starting the design process,” Gervais said.
Just this past week, Gervais’ department, in conjunction with the Belmont City Council, settled upon the .
Three options were proposed to the council, each coming in at a different cost, but all above the park budget of $450,000. The final verdict was to begin raising extra funds to build Option Two, which would cost a little more than $630,000. But, if fundraising seems to be looking up, officials will aim for Option One, which is more than $800,000.
In the meantime, Gervais said the Sports Complex will be the next big project his department will undertake.
“What we’re trying to do is build a project pipeline, where we keep projects in the cycle,” Gervais explained. “One is going, such as Davey Glen, where the design is probably between 60 or 70 percent done, and the Complex is about zero to 10 percent. So we’re keeping things moving along on a path.”
“The Sports Complex does get the most visitors, there’s no doubt about it,” Gervais said. “The amount of use at the Sports Complex is incredible, and it’s a high priority for us.”
Money is another large reason why Davey Glen has taken precedent over the Sports Complex.
Currently, the $450,000 set aside for Davey Glen Park is in the Parks Department's account while the rest of the money is still attempting to be raised.
As far as the Sports Complex, Gervais estimates that re-turfing the field will exceed the $2 million mark, a mark the city is nowhere near approaching.
“The money to build the Sports Complex we don’t have sitting in an account,” Gervais said. “We’ll have to evaluate funding sources as the design comes along.”
Moreover, Gervais insists the city of Belmont is “underserved” as far as park space goes, and that the two decades worth of planning for Davey Glen Park is a plan that needs to come to fruition.
“Davey Glen has been in the works for a long time, beginning in 1992 with our master plan, which clearly stated that this was a priority,” Gervais said. “It’s been pretty much a city commitment for about 20 years.”
“In our minds, that’s a commitment that we need to be working on and we need to honor,” he said.