The Saratoga Sun -

Pickett park planning proposed

 


Planning for Taylor Pickett Park—slated to occupy what is now an empty lot at the corner of Pic Pike and Arrowhead drive near Veteran’s Island—came front and center at the first August meeting of the Saratoga Town Council Tuesday.

As the park inches closer to becoming a reality, council members discussed engineering the grade and park drainage, along with managing the transition from an empty lot commonly used for parking to a park space. Council members also discussed other planning issues, including offers from volunteers to provide assistance with park construction.

The park—named in honor of Staff Sergeant Tyler Pickett of Saratoga who was killed in action in Iraq in 2008—has been in the works for several years and recently found new traction with the current town council.

Steve Wilcoxson, town council member, said work on the park was progressing and it might be possible to have a sprinkler system and grass installed by the end of this summer.

Wilcoxson suggested the need to have an engineering firm survey the site. “We need to get in touch with an engineering firm in order to develop the site plan,” Wilcoxson said. “Once we get a site plan and get it graded, then we can start working on the topsoil.”

Councilman Richard Raymer asked if it was truly necessary to hire an engineering firm, and asked if town employees could do the grade work.

“You don’t think our guys could do it with a transit?” Raymer asked Jon Winter, Saratoga Director of Public Works, saying he didn’t see a reason to spend money to bring in an engineering firm for that.

Winter said he had suggested hiring an engineering firm in order to ensure the grade of the land, important for drainage, was correct.

Ultimately, no decision was made whether to approve hiring an engineering firm.

As to the issue of whether irrigation and grass seed would be in by the end of summer or fall, council members debated whether it would be possible or prudent to do so.

One issue surrounding preparing the site with irrigation and grass seed is the way it is presently used, council members pointed out. For years, the area has been an empty lot which people are used to driving through or parking in.

Because of that, once work had been done to install irrigation or plant seed, the area would have to be fenced off or otherwise barricaded.

Mayor Ed Glode said it was important the council continue to work on a final design for the park, as there have been requests for facilities that were not in the original design.

“I think we need to put on a map the survey site and this concept is good ... decide what we want and move ahead,” Glode said. “I think a barricade in the short term until we can open the park is not a bad thing.”

The next Saratoga Town Council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. August 15 at Saratoga Town Hall.

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