HOLMES BEACH – A new plan is on the table for the city field complex and commissioners are ready to start seeing progress made on the planned renovations.
After going through a few different attempts, City Engineer Lynn Burnett, with the help of commissioners and public input, finally hit on a layout for the complex that meets the needs of users and helps to better utilize the space.
With the newly approved layout, the large dog park will expand to .86 acres and take over much of the current baseball diamond and outfield leading to the fence separating the field with the small dog park. The small dog park is staying in its current location. During construction on the park complex, planned for the current and 2019-2020 fiscal years, Burnett said the large dog park will remain open for users until the new one can be completed.
Bocce ball courts, horseshoe pits and shuffleboard courts will be relocated to part of the area currently used as the large dog park. The construction staging area on the northeast side of the park will be relocated to the current skate park area, adjacent to public works. Parking will take up the current staging area. The tot lot is planned for relocation near the existing gazebo, where it can be expanded in the future, and the skate park is planned for expansion along Marina Drive. Burnett also suggested ringing the complex with a jogging track with exercise stations and utilizing the area in front of public works as a future overflow parking area. She said the Anna Maria Island Privateer’s Skullywag land-bound ship would not have to be relocated.
The remaining park area is planned as a multipurpose field that can be used for festivals, community events, or bases can be laid down for a pickup baseball game.
A memorial tree with dedication plaque located in the Marina Drive facing area of the park complex will remain in its current location.
Commissioners agreed unanimously to move forward with the proposed plan. Burnett said that while the tot lot can be relocated in-house using public works employees, she will have to come back before commissioners with contracts to be approved for the other work to be done.
“I like it,” Commissioner Pat Morton said of the project.
“I think it’s great,” Commissioner Rick Hurst said, congratulating Burnett on a job well-done.