Ever been to McAnulty Park? Ever even heard of it? You're probably not alone.
But Brian Urban sure has, and he sees room for improvement.
Urban, a lifelong Baldwin Borough resident, is seeking no reimbursement for his time and effort but asked the Baldwin Council during its meeting on Tuesday night to allow him to seek funds for borough officials to use in revitalizing the park.
The park is made up of a hilly green space, a walking trail, a gazebo and basketball/tennis courts and is found between Meadowcrest Road and Carmen Drive in south Baldwin (behind McAnnulty Elementary School).
Borough Manager John Barrett called the park on Tuesday, "admittedly, very underutilized."
"Trash, graffiti, drug use, underage alcohol abuse, poor safety conditions and so on and so forth," Urban said when describing what he believes to be the park's current, unfavorable use. "Point being is it's not attracting the positive attention that it should be. It's been there for a long time—beautiful park at one time, still has the ability to (be that again)."
Urban, who has fundraising experience while working for the Obediah Cole Foundation, estimated that, should he be able to raise between $25,000 and $50,000, he could significantly revamp the park.
"It could be, potentially, a senior recreational fitness park, using a variety of different trails to walk upon in a zigzag formation throughout the hill," Urban said, while also saying that he would like to get rid of the basketball/tennis courts.
"This is no cost at all to the borough," he said. "I want to increase our borough value."
Councilman Michael Stelmasczyk cautioned his colleagues and Urban that, should the borough build something at McAnulty Park, someone then has to maintain whatever is built, meaning that a continual stream of money may be required.
Barrett agreed, saying, "We learned our lesson from (municipal) playgrounds that we need to keep an eye toward the future."
Stelmasczyk also wished to hear feedback from other south Baldwin residents to see if they, too, would like to see the park's features changed.
The council agreed informally on Tuesday that there isn't much risk in granting Urban permission to seek funds and/or sponsors. Borough solicitor Stanley B. Lederman said that he will draft a letter that allows Urban to do just that for the council to consider at a future meeting.
Shade Tree Commission Eyes Baldwin Municipal Complex
Fresh off of planting almost 30 new (and free) trees at Brentwood Park, the Brentwood-Baldwin-Whitehall Multi-municipal Shade Tree Commission now has its sights set on the Baldwin Borough Municipal Complex.
Representatives of the commission asked the Baldwin Council on Tuesday night to grant them permission to plant between 15 and 20 new trees at the complex, free of charge to the borough.
The council agreed informally to allow such a thing—Councilman Bob Collet said, "Please do"—and Councilman Ed Moeller requested that Barrett put an item on the council's agenda for next week's meeting that could make permission official.
Moeller said that the council might authorize the planting in general terms and decide on a specific location—municipal complex or otherwise—at a later date.
Baldwin Mayor Alexander R. Bennett Jr., who is on vacation, was absent from Tuesday's meeting.
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