Council hears plans for city park
MIDWAY - Members of the citizens' advisory council (CAC) formed to improve Walter Bradley Jr. Park Monday gave the city council an update on what they want to do - and what they've already done. "They have far exceeded my expectations in the planning and the dedication to the cause, and in the actions they've already taken," said Mayor Grayson Vandegrift. Advisory council members include chair Cecilia Gass, John Holloway, Dottie Cordray, Steve Simoff, Phil Dare and Milan Hamilton. Holloway presented a slide show that began with a look at their work thus far, including removing invasive euonymus and honeysuckle plants. Members and volunteers also used grants from the Woodford County Conservation District and Helen Rentch to plant more than 300 redbud, dogwood, sumac and other trees. Holloway said typically, about half of new trees planted die, but the ones they planted in the park "seem mostly alive." A March 21 public meeting about the park attracted about 40 people, Holloway said. The group created a "Friends of Walter Bradley Jr. Park" group that will gather $10 annual dues and, perhaps more importantly, email addresses of people who may volunteer down the road. Holloway said they'd presented Vandegrift with a list of 10 goals and Vandegrift suggested they identify three that could be achieved in the near future: . Signs directing the public to the park, showing park boundaries and trail paths would be made of wood and designed to look natural, Holloway said. Council member Sara Hicks suggested a new sign off Winter Street. . A new entrance sign at the Warfield and Gratz streets trees designed by Debra Shockley would feature different graphics and trees and resemble a "national park entrance." . A 32-foot-long bridge over Lee's Creek would feature steel beams on the bottom, while the bridge itself would be made of wood. Holloway said using volunteers could keep the cost at about $7,000 to $8,000. "The hardest part of having a bridge really is getting a building permit, because you have to prove that you're not interfering with the waterway and that your concept for building it is sound ." Holloway said. He added that building the bridge this summer may not be possible, but volunteer Gina Morris had experience with the permit process. Council member Libby Warfield asked if the park could be made to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Holloway said much of the park's terrain is very rugged, making it very expensive to do so. Council member Steven Craig asked if the CAC had determined whether there was a cemetery there. Holloway said he believed they had, and a path was rerouted so that it didn't go through what's believed to be an old family cemetery. Vandegrift said he planned to ask the council for $10,000 in the fiscal 2017 budget for the park and that the CAC had already raised $3,200. Vandegrift and council member Bruce Southworth said they believed the bridge should be the top priority. Post office parking Craig led the discussion of how to better handle parking at the U.S. Post Office on East Bruen Street. Some Midway residents believe the entire block in front of the building is 10-minute parking, in part because of a faded sign there. Craig said he'd studied an ordinance dealing with parking and discovered that there was much more involved than just the amount of time people are allowed to park. "But I'm thinking, in general, if we simply change the sign to state 'No parking from here to corner, 10-minute parking,' and have it on the road, I think that will clear up any kind of question ." Craig said. Craig said a painted line could make matters clearer for the "two-and-a-half" parking spaces there. Hicks asked if there were federal laws regarding parking at post offices. Vandegrift said he didn't think so but would check, and eventually sent the matter to the city property committee.