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Jan 10, 2013

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Mick

Good thing they are saving all that money taking over a handful of parks.

Roch

What is the latest on that anyway? Are they or aren't they? Please tell me Hagen Stone isn't included.

Mick

I believe it is.

ginia zenke

I can't get the link to work. Perhaps it's just technically mal-adjusted me....

Roch

Greensboro has a long and admirable dedication to maintaining great parks. Guilford County? Who knows. The prospect of Hagan Stone changing hands worries me. Does anybody know if this is a done deal?

Joe Killian

Roch:

Technically, it's a done deal. The county took over in the new year.

In reality, the commissioners are considering undoing this and there are a number of parks people who would be happy to see them do so.

I wrote a story that touched on this last week and am working on a follow-up. No actual action yet, but the commissioners will be discussing it again Jan 17 and I'll report more on that then.

Mick

Is it "undoable". Not to many bridges burned, etc? What committee didnt know you would need equipment and personell to manage and maintain parks?

I really do hope they get it squared away and to our benefit.

Joe Killian

That reminds me of this bit from my January 10 piece that also touched on this:


Among the realities of the transition: the realization that a lot of trucks, computers and other expensive equipment belongs to municipalities, not the county. The county may have to decide whether to invest in replacement equipment if it moves forward with its own parks department - a move that may be unpopular as the new board looks to make budget cuts.

"We had a relationship with the county for 22 years," said Greensboro Parks & Recreation Director Chris Wilson . "So right now it's kind of like the end of a marriage. We're trying to figure out what belongs to who."

It is un-doable.

Chris Wilson said if they want to talk about giving these responsibilities back to the municipalities, he and other people would be glad to have that conversation.

Roch

Thank you very much Joe. I had missed your story.

I had it in my mind that the city of Greensboro owned Hagan Stone Park, so I looked. They did once own it but sold it to the county in 2008...

FOR $10.

Here's the deed of sale, signed by then mayor Yvonne Johnson.

I am saddened to learn that the City relinquished this jewel of a resource that it had owned for 45 years, and for such a paltry sum. Hey, at least we have a new $780M dollar sidewalk around two sides of a downtown block*. Geez, our priorities stink in this town sometimes.

* Anybody investigate that, Joe? Seems like a lot for a sidewalk, although I'm sure calling it a "Greenway" adds a good half a mil to its value, but what do I know? I'm just a guy who thinks $10 for 400 acre park is a little on the cheap side.

Joe Killian

Roch:

I was not privy to deliberations on this but my understanding is that the city was glad to part with Hagan Stone because it saved them the cost of actually having to maintain it.

The idea was that the people would still get the use of the park and the city Parks & Rec Dept. would continue to care for it through a contract with the city.

But if the county decides to take over caring for it and then cuts funding for its care...doesn't work out so well.

bubba

Is Center City Park still maintained by the city?

Kim

I think so Bubba. I see a New Garden Landscape truck there evey week. Not a knock, I'm sure they do excellent work, but aren't they about the most expensive in town. Was that contract out for bid?

Roch

That may have been the explanation, Joe, and thanks for it, but it makes little sense as Bubba points out in his round about way.

And a correction to my comment above, it was $780,000 for the block-long sidewalk, which, no offense to Joe (I know you work hard), but which the N&R probably won't inquire about unless and until someone else does first.

bubba

"Was that contract out for bid?"

Perhaps it's time for the property owners to assume responsibility for maintenance.

CountyLineman

Brenda thought she was going to get asked to hang around to mentor the newbie manager...instead, the asked Sharisse to stay until June. Brenda left the retreat looking as mad as a wet hen.

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