The Capital Improvement Program is a six year planning tool that outlines fifteen projects for an estimated $7 million. With the economic downturn, the budget is being reviewed by the Park Commission and no new, large scale projects are expected to begin. I spoke with Parks and Recreation director LuAnn Maisner who told me that small projects are still going on like the completion of the fishing dock in the Historical Village. Maisner said the department is looking for bond proposals, grants and possible increases in mileages to help cover the projected costs.
After the interview I took a little walk through the farmer’s market, Historical Village and on to the new fishing dock, all places that the Parks and Rec department look after. Each location was impeccably maintained, no doubt thanks to the hardworking crew. In my head, $7 million sounded like a ton of money to mow the grass in the parks. I didn’t see why the program needed such a large sum but after asking Maisner why parks are so crucial to our communities, it made sense. They are recreational places, a reason why people move to our area, and frankly a nice place to sneak off to when you need a break from work.
With the budget crunch, volunteers are needed to help with the smaller projects, so if you have a chainsaw or a pair of waders and some free time, the department is looking for a hand clearing some backed up spots in the river on October 6th. For more details, visit their website and watch Meridian Magazine.