The sports fields at Peacock Park
St. Stephen's has use of the area from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm on school days and then the City is supposed to take over and manage the area, where the general public can then come in and play. The problem has been that the City doesn't want to leave the area unsupervised and as of yet, there is no supervisor. I had asked why they need a supervisor now after all these years of no supervision, but apparently they do.
The CIP (Capital Improvements Projects Department) is working on fixing up the glass house, which will be home to a parks manager who will manage the whole park including the basketball courts and the soccer fields. The problem now is that asbestos was found in the ceiling, something having to do with the air conditioning vents and the bathrooms are not ADA compliant yet either. The Chamber of Commerce and the NET office shared the space for years and none of this was a problem, but they didn't find the problems until they started renovation.
Ron tells me that they are hoping for this to be all rectified in 30 days, but knowing how government works, it could be a while. The parks manager would be in one side of the glass house and a restaurant is still planned for the other side, an extended RFP went out at the request of applicants and they City is hoping that someone will come in and create a restaurant soon.
Ron is considering having a park ranger come in and possibly open the basketball courts if not the whole area and eventually he hopes that leagues will take place at the soccer fields. Armbrister Park in the Village West has a soccer league, but as football teams take over the park, he feels that it would be a good idea for the soccer leagues from Armbrister to join soccer leagues at Peacock. Interestingly enough, Armbrister Park is quite a busy park with not only soccer and football leagues, but also Lacrosse and softball, too.
When finally opened, the basketball courts would be first come, first served and the soccer fields would probably require a reservation system and possibly a nominal payment for leagues.
So that's the plan. I did suggest that it looks bad for St. Stephen's to be using the park and then locking it when they leave, but Ron reminded me that they have paid supervision when they use the area.
For decades, St. Stephen's has used the park for school activities. They paid an annual use permit which was about $153.00 and they had access to all of Peacock Park, now under a new deal, they only have use of the section you see fenced in.
The new revocable license agreement/use agreement that St. Stephen's signed, is for a period of 10 years. St. Stephen’s had been renewing an Annual Use Permit each year. The new agreement acknowledges their contribution and eliminates the need to renew their annual agreement for 10 years. It is NOT a lease, it conveys NO property rights and it is revocable with 10 day notice.
They were rightly told that they had used the park for 40 years or more and maybe it is time to give back. They happily accepted that challenge and the result is $500,000 worth of improvements to the park.
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