COLUMBIA — The Columbia City Council voted unanimously Monday night to begin constructing a park in the Gans Creek Recreation Area.
The Columbia Parks and Recreation Department will develop nearly 50 of the area's 320 acres during this phase of building.
The department hopes to finish work on the park in 2015. The estimated construction cost is $1.75 million. The city paid $8 million for the recreation area in 2007.
Funds for the project come from a 0.25 percent Park Sales Tax. The parks department plans to use part of the tax to maintain a part-time staff for the park.
The park's operating budget will also draw funding from rental fees that sports teams and other groups pay to use the facilities.
Mayor Bob McDavid hailed the park as a "very visionary, very prescient" move for the city.
"This is going to be a crown jewel of our parks system," he said.
The park will include:
- Seven multi-sport grass fields
- A 2.5-acre fenced dog park
- Parking lots with a total of 324 spots
- Two restroom facilities
- A playground
- A sheltered picnic area
- A concession stand with a sheltered area
The park will be adjacent to Rock Bridge State Park and Philips Park. The parks department has appropriated funds to develop Philips Park further, but it's waiting for the council to address zoning issues.
This diagram shows the phase one construction for Gans Creek Recreation Area, which includes soccer fields, parking, a multi-use trail, a playground, a dog park, a concession stand and a shelter. The park also includes plans for storm water retention. Water retention cell areas and bio-swales help drain water to a lake located at Philips Park. This area also includes spots designated for future parking lots that might be built in a later development phase.
Supervising editor is Richard Webner.