Oak Park in Greenfield (Contributed Photo)

GREENFIELD — Members of the Greenfield Public Recreation District inspected Oak Park during their July 24 board meeting.

The board evaluated how state funds could be utilized to renovate the city park.

The inspection came at the same time the recreation district and the Greenfield Cemetery District have looked into merging, or at least have overlapping membership, to coordinate projects within Greenfield.

Recreation Chair David Kong said the two groups would find synergy and opportunities to save on costs for projects. Such a move would require increasing the recreation board from five members to seven in order to match the cemetery board’s seven members.

“We have different functions, but we’ll try to make it work,” Kong said.

Funding for park improvements has been secured and is awaiting direction.

“Prior to the pandemic, one of our former board members put in an application with state parks,” Kong explained. “We received money to fix the parks, to do renovations. We have not spent the money yet, first because of the pandemic and second because I wanted to have more members on the board before we move forward.”

In addition, he said there are funds available from a prior grant.

One complication in merging boards, Kong said, is that any money obtained by the park board can only be used for park projects, and money obtained by the cemetery board can only be used for cemetery projects. To move forward with a project, the board would need to conduct an inspection.

“Personally for me, the pool has been an issue,” Kong said. “It has not been regularly maintained through the pandemic.”

With the inspection over, the board could begin work on projects. Possible updates could be the addition of a second volleyball court or even work on the picnic tables.

“The park was mostly in good shape even after being closed since March of last year,” Kong said. “Some areas in need of repair or concern included the swimming pool, the old Swiss Rifle Range building and making one of the bathroom areas more handicapped accessible.”

The rifle range might need removal if costs to repair are too high; while the bathrooms’ need for a wheelchair ramp is a matter of meeting state guidelines on accessibility. The pool, however, would need work on the water valves, system maintenance and some water leaks.

“We’re not as bad as other places, we just have to decide what to do with the money,” Kong said about Greenfield’s situation with park improvements. “We’re just trying to make the park as accessible and usable for everybody as possible and also be a place where people can gather during an emergency,” he added.

Emergency use is another avenue of state grants the board can look into, Kong noted, since the large, open space could serve as a disaster relief area during fires or other emergencies. He said the park has the facilities where hundreds could be served and restrooms exist.

Possible projects and their costs will be discussed at the next board meeting, planned for Aug. 10 at 6 p.m. at La Plaza Bakery in Greenfield. For more information, contact Kong at [email protected] or call Oak Park at 831-674-5375.

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Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.


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