PLATTSBURGH — Before revamping one of its parks, the Town of Plattsburgh is letting some public feedback sink in.
Everest Rabideau Recreation Park, which sits adjacent to living community Champlain Park on Cumberland Head, was the park in question.
Town Senior Planner Trevor Cole said the municipality held a public meeting earlier this year to gauge the public's interests for the site's upcoming redesign.
"There was probably 70 attendees — maybe more," Cole said, adding that the residents's ages ranged from youth to elderly.
"We weren't going to the event to tell people what we were doing," he said. "We were really showing up to have the community tell us what they were interested in."
Though only using a portion of it, the Everest Rabideau Recreation Park was on 30 acres of Town of Plattsburgh property.
The rec site was home to some outdated play equipment and sports fields.
Cole said the town has about $150,000 set aside for the project, but, he added, that figure could be expanded via public-private partnerships, future grants and/or sponsorships.
"We really want to broaden our concept of what we're going to do there," the planner said.
In preparation for the recent public meeting, which was held at the Cumberland Head Fire Department, Cole said some 1,000 invitations were sent to town constituents.
"We had large boards on easels put all around the room with options, ideas and concepts," he said.
And, he added, participants were asked to draw on maps, take dot polls and vote on the various concepts.
"This session combined two of our town’s biggest strengths: recreation along with planning and community development," Town Supervisor Michael Cashman said.
"The town’s investments at the Cadyville Park to more recently LaPierre Lane Riverway are examples of our approach to recreation and community development.
The town has a legacy of topnotch outdoor recreation," he continued. "It was amazing to see the overwhelming positive response by residents sharing ideas and interest to be involved with the process."
According to Cole, one common theme had been field drainage.
Though home to some ball fields, the grass at Everest Rabideau Recreation Park has been known to be too wet for play at various times of the year.
"Having drain tile installed is something we are hoping to do and would certainly be looking at as part of a park renovation that we already had," Cole said.
And the community hoped the Town of Plattsburgh would take a look at the wooded areas of the park parcel, too.
"About half of the lot is wooded, forested and undeveloped," he said. "People really wanted to focus on the trail system.
They were very interested in seeing the trails be more formally developed for skiing, walking and running."
CASTING A NET
Other hopes for the site were upgrades to the playground equipment and some added rec equipment, like pickleball courts.
"And several people voted to see a skate park or a splash pad," Cole added. "Some of the things we may not be able to afford to do, but it was really about casting a net."
The next step, he said, will be analyzing the information gathered from that night and eliminating anything infeasible.
"We'll take the stuff off the table that we're certain that we can't do, keep everything on the table that we think is possible and then filter it by how much interest it received," Cole said.
"And then we'll come up with a presentation for the community once again to make sure we're taking the temperature of the community right."
After that, he added, will be bids for construction.
"This looks like it's headed for a 2021 construction," Cole said.
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