Mayor Beamish submitted his request to Troy City Council to use $8 million of General Fund reserves to fund 67% of the proposed recreational improvements for children and families at Paul G. Duke Park. As he outlined earlier this week, improvements would include creating six baseball/softball fields, three large soccer fields, a splashpad, 18-hole miniature golf course, service buildings, and additional parking. The new ballfields would be created on a part of the 117-acre farm that the City of Troy purchased in 2015. The $8 million in current City resources would be supplemented by a 10-year, 1.2 mill property tax levy, to be voted on at the November 5, 2019 general election.
In early spring, after a series of significant flooding events at the Knoop Fields, a group of interested stakeholders approached Mayor Beamish, Mayor-elect Robin Oda and City Auditor John Frigge about supporting an initiative to help Troy’s youth by building more reliable fields. Their message was clear that Troy’s youth have suffered through yet another season highlighted by flooding at Knoop Fields, with many practices and games cancelled. The group also emphasized that Troy families clearly see Duke Park as the crown jewel of Troy’s park system and want more amenities and recreational activities there.
Mayor Beamish, Mayor-elect Oda and Auditor Frigge agreed, provided that:
- The initiative is focused only on Duke Park;
- The majority of the costs must be funded by current revenues and resources, with any new request limited in duration and amount;
- Our community partners, including the Park Board, Recreation Board, Troy Soccer Club, and Troy Junior Baseball organization fully support and endorse this effort; and,
- Staffing is sufficiently funded to ensure the on-going success of the amenities once constructed.
The new complex proposed in 2017 is recommended to be decreased from 12 down to 6 baseball/softball fields, with the ability to add another, smaller five-field pod at a later date. A new 18-hole miniature golf course, splashpad, park maintenance building and concession/storage areas would be added in the central part of Duke Park. Finally, three large soccer fields and another park entrance would be added to the south.
“I am supportive of this initiative because first, and foremost, it provides additional recreational opportunities for the children of Troy. They deserve fields that don’t flood and recreational amenities that will serve all of our families, young and old, in our premier park. Second, the amount requested is approximately ½ of the amount that was contemplated originally with Operation Recreation (before the decimal point mistake). Third, the vast majority of the project would be paid for with existing General Fund balances, with the City committing tax dollars already collected. Finally, this initiative demonstrates a sensitivity that we have listened to the residents when they said that Operation Recreation was too expensive, too big, and didn’t provide all of the amenities they wanted (i.e., mini-golf and splashpad),” stated Mayor Beamish.
Mayor-elect Robin Oda added: “I am pleased that we are taking another look at the development of Duke Park and addressing the additional need for soccer fields, along with giving Troy Jr. Baseball a dry set of fields. The miniature golf and splashpad only add to the multi-generational amenities at the park. This is a much smaller levy, limited in time and scope. I hope that the public will attend the discussion on Monday evening at City Hall.”
At Mayor Beamish’s request, Troy City Council Recreation and Parks Committee will meet on Monday, July 8, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 2nd floor of Troy City Hall, 100 S. Market Street. For those who cannot attend, Troy Council meetings are televised live at http://troyohio.gov/562/Council-Chambers-Live-Stream or can be viewed at a later date at the City’s YouTube account at www.youtube.com, search ‘Troy Ohio Videos.’ Further information and details are available by contacting the Mayor’s Office at (937) 335-1725.