Day: February 3, 2014

Big Toy budget a spongy issue

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes A rough budget has been established for The Big Toy at Keizer Rapids Park play structure project. The next step: securing more exact numbers. The fundraising committee of the Community Build Task Force held its monthly meeting Tuesday evening at Keizer Civic Center. Co-chair Janet Carlson, the Marion County Commissioner, outlined a budget that has some flexibility at the moment. Part of that depends on how flexible the flooring will be. Carlson said the base budget is $345,030 in cash. That includes $100,000 from the city in System Development Charges fees, a projected $100,000 in grants and a projected $140,030 to be raised via fundraising. There is an additional $301,000 in volunteer or in-kind time. A small portion of that is for time in meetings, but the bulk is for donated labor during the actual construction. The play structure is expected to take five days, from Sept. 17 to 21, utilizing plenty of volunteers from Keizer. The base budget includes $16,000 for wood chip surface all around the play structure. A spongy surface has been deemed preferable, but that changes the budget drastically. “The figure was up to $167,000 if everything was the spongy floor,” said Richard Walsh, committee co-chair. Mayor Lore Christopher had sticker shock when she heard that figure. “Holy cow!” she exclaimed. “Our kids don’t get the spongy floors.” Clint...

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Timing an issue for Big Toy site

  By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes A new wrinkle – and potentially large hurdle – was thrown into the plans for The Big Toy at Keizer Rapids Park project last week. As detailed in the Keizertimes last week, mayor Lore Christopher expressed concern at the Jan. 21 Keizer City Council meeting about the three potential sites proposed for the play structure, which is scheduled to be built by volunteers in Keizer Sept. 17 to 21. When Christopher mentioned wanting to use part of the 28 acres of Buchholz property along Chemawa Road that is in city limits but is not part of Keizer’s Urban Growth Boundary (UGB), a big concern was raised: could the land be useable in time without delaying the project? Nate Brown, director of Community Development for Keizer, was tasked with reporting back at next week’s council meeting what work would need to be done to make it happen. “That property needs to be master planned,” Brown said. “(The play structure) can’t just be plopped down. It’s just about two acres of the 28 acres that would be used.” Brown said the property is zoned for Exclusive Farm Use-Special Agriculture currently. Officials from the state, Marion County and Salem would all have to sign off on the property becoming a part of Keizer’s UGB. “If all the stars align, we’re looking at six months to...

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