The Bellaire City Council has approved a recommendation from the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board to scale back the design of the entry plaza and donor wall area for Bellaire Town Square.
The plan for Bellaire Town Square included a water feature at the entry plaza, but because of construction and maintenance costs the board recommended that council approve a scaled back version of the plan.
The city has been working with landscape architecture firm Clark Condon Associates for the design of Bellaire Town Square. Clark Condon proposed a smaller feature that would remain consistent with the plan, but could also be built for less money and in a shorter period of time.
Parks Board member Jeff Addicks told council on Monday that more money would need to be raised if they went forward with the original plan. He said it was not proper, in these economic times, to ask the city for money for the project.
Patrons for Bellaire Parks have agreed to fund the project and have currently raised $125,000.
The Bellaire New Home Showcase Builders acquired naming rights to the entry plaza in 2007 with a $100,000 donation through Patrons. Both Patrons and the builders supported the recommendation to build a scaled back water feature.
“Patrons believe it is essential that the city move ahead, at least on the donor wall portion of the plaza at this time,” Patrons President Karen Erwin said in a letter to city council. “It’s been six years since donors began contributing to the effort to develop BTS through Patrons, with the understanding they would be recognized on a donor wall in BTS.”
Erwin told council that it would be great if the project could be done sooner rather than later. She said it would help to have it done before Tents in Town in March or April.
Parks and Recreation Director Jane Dembski told council that the project could be constructed within 90 days of the bid award.
Councilmember Andrew Friedberg said he would be comfortable going forward with the scaled back plan if the city and taxpayers didn’t have to contribute to the project.
“It’s a no brainer to me to accept it on these conditions,” he said.
Councilmember Roman Reed and Mayor Cindy Siegel both said the project is a “really great thing for the city.”
“People have given money and thank you is important,” Mayor Pro Tem Phil Nauert said.
City Manager Bernie Satterwhite told council that the next step is to set up a meeting with Clark Condon.
robert riquelmy says
Should the donors think bait and switch?
Corbett Parker says
No, they should think responsive government during economic downturn.