HOLMES BEACH – City engineer Lynn Burnett gave a presentation on capital improvement projects during the June 27 commission meeting and gave commissioners hope that progress will soon be seen in city parks.
Burnett opened her presentation with a bit of surprising news: Holmes Beach property owner Nora Scholan is willing to donate 26 acres of waterfront property to the city to extend Grassy Point Preserve. Burnett said all that Scholan asks in return is access through a city right of way to a half acre buildable plot of land adjacent to the land being donated. Burnett suggested the new addition be named Hames Preserve after Scholan’s family.
“I think this is a great, great opportunity,” Commissioner Carol Soustek said. “We do appreciate it very much.”
Commissioners agreed to the deal and Burnett said she’d bring contracts back to the July 9 meeting.
At Spring Lake, Burnett said the water would soon be bubbling as the aeration system is scheduled for installation and is expected to be operational by the end of July. The aeration system will push air bubbles to the surface of the water, helping to refresh the water column and dissipate some of the remaining acidity in the water.
Burnett also said that work is scheduled to begin on grading and installation of stormwater drainage at the new location for the city’s dog park following the July 9 meeting. With work getting started, the hope is that the park will be fully operational before the winter season begins.
Drainage and ground preparation work also are beginning following the July 9 meeting for the Holmes Beach Skate Park. Burnett said that new designs for that park will be delivered to commissioners during the July 9 meeting, including designs for the additional bowl area for which she said a donor may have been identified to help fund.
Commissioners continued discussions about the possibility of adding a 900-square-foot splash pad to the entrance to the city park complex. With major concerns about safety, maintenance, high cost and maintaining the health of people who use the splash pad, commissioners eventually dismissed the idea with Commissioner Jim Kihm the only one in favor of continuing discussions.
“Well, I tried,” he said when the consensus was taken to not move forward with a splash pad.