The master plan is being developed by Atlanta-based GreenRock Partners for $29,000, and Steve Ciaccio, director of the Smyrna Parks and Recreation Department, hopes to have it completed by the end of August. GreenRock will present its findings from public surveys and meetings and take comments during a meeting at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Smyrna Community Center, 200 Village Green Circle.
“The previous (master plan) entailed a lot of things that ultimately came to fruition,” Ciaccio said.
He points to the creation of parks, including North Cooper Lake Park and River Line Park, among others, as success stories of the last plan.
They wouldn’t have happened without a $22 million park bond approved by voters in 2005, and that money has dried up.
Still, all the city’s park needs haven’t been met.
Ciaccio said he isn’t sure how any new parks or improvements will be funded because the plan hasn’t been completed and no specific projects have been approved. The money could come from city funds, grants or a host of other sources depending on the projects.
Some residents have asked for the city to develop passive parks — areas for leisure activities with no sports fields — and a year-round aquatic center, and Ciaccio expects those requests to surface again. The city has one swimming pool and Mayor Max Bacon says the demand is so great it could use another.
“I think some of the needs expressed in the master plan will be the same that were expressed in the last master plan,” he said.
Bacon says he’s waiting to review GreenRock’s findings based on discussions with Smyrna residents before making any decisions, but he already has a few things in mind.
“We could probably use another swimming facility,” Bacon said.
It’s an idea that Paula Bowman of Smyrna can be on board with. Lying on a lawn chair at city-operated Tolleson Pool on Kings Spring Road near South Cobb Drive on Tuesday, Bowman watched her grandson, Levi, 1, swim with the help of a life jacket.
“I think it would be a good idea,” she said. “I’d probably come more often if it wasn’t so crowded.”
The city’s only public pool is popular, Bacon said, and attracts crowds.
He’s also looking at maintenance of athletic fields and wants to explore the cost of using artificial turf compared to the sod the city uses now.
“They’ll play a season and then after the season is over, of course, there’s no grass. … We have to re-sod it and cut off the field from use at all,” Bacon said.
That leaves Jesus Reyes of Smyrna, 15, without a place to practice soccer.
“Sometimes they close this park so we don’t have anywhere to play,” he said Tuesday while practicing his game at Tolleson Park.