Many felt that City Council approval of the Site Development Plan for the long-awaited final development of Veterans Community Park was only a formality during Monday night’s meeting, especially after the Planning Board had given its stamp of approval earlier this month.
However, Council was reluctant to move forward without a firm number regarding cost of the project, which has been in the planning stages for over a decade. Concern over spending for the work to be done in the park was a concern of several citizens in attendance, especially with regard to the monies being spent for the large amphitheater.
“Why is this before us without better data regarding costs, especially given the potential regarding large spikes in material costs due to the COVID crisis?” questioned Councilor Brechnitz.
Councilor Irwin, while on a ski vacation in Colorado, joined the meeting by Zoom and questioned why dockage along the seawall wasn’t approved, causing others to question how much that would add to the expense of the project.
Former Councilman Howard Reed would again appear and make a passionate plea to ensure that restroom facilities be open to the public not only for special events, but to ensure residents can use the park on an expanded basis. As such, he saw the need for at least minimal supervision at the facility.
Questions were also raised regarding the environmental impact of runoff and whether the city had adequately planned for the drainage issues.
Council, uncomfortable with some of the unanswered questions, decided to give staff another 30 days to address those concerns.