By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
The Big Toy portion of Keizer Rapids Park is pretty much figured out.
What about the rest of the park?
In 2014, the master plan for KRP was updated as part of moving the play structure to its location in the filbert orchard.
While amenities were put into place on a map, there wasn’t much discussion about costs or priorities.
Such a conversation took place during December’s Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting.
Robert Johnson, parks director for the city, said a pathway from the boat-in campground along the Willamette River to the gate where disc golf begins would be about 2,500 feet in length and cost about $100,000.
“With multi-use sports courts, the options are endless,” Johnson said. “It depends on what you’re looking for. If that’s a priority, I can get some numbers.”
Parks Board member Richard Walsh said sports courts have been talked about for several years.
“The reason being is it could be done cheaper than a parking lot,” Walsh said. “We really don’t have an outdoor basketball court area.”
Johnson noted he’s had a request for a different type of court.
“I’ve had people ask me if they can play pickleball,” he said. “It’s a life size version of ping pong, played on a tennis court.”
Bill Lawyer, Public Work director, said old Systems Development Charges (SDC) money cannot be used for restrooms, but could be used for other projects like surfacing.
“What is the priority?” Lawyer asked. “Where do we want to focus the money?”
Walsh said the answer hinges partially on whether the city is successful in getting an Oregon Parks and Recreation Department grant for Big Toy improvements.
“The Big Toy is our priority,” Walsh said. “We won’t know if we need more money for the Big Toy surface until after we learn if we got the grant. If we fail to get the grant, we might need more.”
Parks Board member J.T. Hager wanted more information.
“Our priority is to do all of them,” Hager said. “Knowing that’s not going to happen, what options do we have? We’ve been solid in wanting to get the Big Toy done. For restrooms, do we want to draw in people but not have restrooms?”
Lawyer said the budget needs to be refined.
“We’re not even sure how much cash we need to come up with,” he said.
Lawyer noted there has been an uptick in vandalism inside the park, with several items used for maintenance being stolen.
“It’s difficult to curb vandalism,” he said. “The police department can only do so much.”
Clint Holland suggested putting up reward signs like there used to be at Keizer Little League Park.
“We had a reward of $500,” Holland said. “We never had problems. As soon as they took the sign down, they had all kinds of problems. A buddy will turn another buddy in for $500.”
Fellow Parks Board member Donna Bradley suggested an alarm system.
“I hadn’t thought about the alarm idea,” Lawyer said. “That’s a good idea.”