(This video was broadcast live using Ustream and Galaxy S3 phone - thus the slow video rate.) It was a great day for citizen activism with the announcement that City Loop will NOT be built in City Park, but will be located elsewhere (new location not announced).
TRANSCRIPT (thanks to Dave Felice)
"When Denver Parks and Recreation first set out with the City Loop project, our intent was to create a new, multi-generational play area that would replace the existing Dustin Redd playground, which is in need of significant repair or replacement after nearly 20 years of use.
Our goal, based on the department’s game plan and the playground master plan, was to create a new concept that was innovative and forward-thinking that gives everyone using the park – from small children to adults – an opportunity to remain active and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
In December, we committed to going through a process to gather feedback from the City Park community. I promised you that we would listen to what you have to say.
After attending our first stakeholder meeting back in February, discussing the project with many of you individually since then and receiving more feedback over the past few weeks, it is clear to me that our goals for this project simply don’t align with the needs and wants of this community.
As such I want to tell you right now that we are dropping the City Loop project for City Park and we will plan to move it to another site within the city. As I had indicated last month, we have evaluated other sites and while I won’t specifically say right now where we are targeting, I can tell you that it is in the western part of our city and in a community that shares our vision for re-imagining play and promoting a healthy, active lifestyle.
So what happens here in City Park?
In the short term, we are making necessary safety repairs to the Dustin Redd playground. We also want to have a community volunteer day – something we’ve heard form a number of you in this room – to perform light maintenance and restoration work on the existing playground.
For the longer term, it is inevitable that Dustin Redd will need to be replaced. We are at a point where the constant need for repair and ongoing maintenance simply outweighs the cost-savings of putting in a new commercial-grade playground that has similar features, a similar footprint and is made of newer materials with less overall maintenance needed.
We will put the replacement of the existing Dustin Redd on our playground replacement list and we are hopeful that in either the 2015 or 1016 budget, we can earmark some capital improvement funds to move that forward. So we are looking at an overall timeline of 3-5 more years for the existing playground.
When it comes time to address replacement again, I think it is fair to say that we’ve learned quite a bit from this process and we will absolutely engage this community again to ensure your input and ideas are a part of the process.
Outside the playground issue, we will also continue to invest in maintenance and repair/restoration within City Park. In fact, since 2008, we have put nearly $16 million into maintenance projects in City Park."