SUISUN CITY — Suisun City has revived plans to complete Lawler Ranch Park by developing seven acres on the park’s south side – an area that has been home to little more than weeds since the first part of the park was built in 2007.
The city’s Recreation and Community Services Department is putting out a request for proposal to find an architect to prepare conceptual plans for what the expansion will look like.
Designing and building the second phase is expected to cost about $974,000 that will come from the city’s Park Development Fund, while money to maintain the expansion will come from the Lawler Ranch Maintenance Assessment District Fund.
The completed portion of the park contains two playgrounds and picnic areas, a perimeter walking path, trees and landscaping. Plans for Phase II completed back in 2006 called for adding a gazebo, turf and more trees, but the city plans to meet with current residents to find out what they now want to see in their park expansion.
A fly in the ointment landed Tuesday night, when a motion to appropriate the money for the design and build of the expansion was shot down by City Councilman Mike Hudson, who demanded a commitment that a restroom be included in the plans because he had seen children who relieved themselves in the present park’s bushes.
Because there were only three council members present at Tuesday’s meeting – Vice Mayor Lori Wilson and council members Jane Day and Hudson – Hudson’s sole no vote was enough to scuttle the funding for the time being. A three-vote majority of the entire council was required to pass the motion.
Resident Betsey Buxton told council members Tuesday she wanted to see the plans include a drinking fountain, a restroom, more adequate garbage collection and a dog park.
“The closest dog park is in Fairfield on Gold Hill Road,” Buxton said. “We need to have a place for off-leash dogs.”
Once the city identifies an architect, city staff are expected to return to the council to once again ask for money for the park expansion.
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