Am I confused, no! I know January 1st has not arrived already. It is a new year for Blue Springs City government. Each year our fiscal year starts on October 1st, so a new year and with that is a new budget to begin operating from.

Am I confused, no! I know January 1st has not arrived already. It is a new year for Blue Springs City government. Each year our fiscal year starts on October 1st, so a new year and with that is a new budget to begin operating from. 

Although the City is still fighting the recession issues, with reduced revenues and expenditures, and restricted spending on capital improvements; we are still moving forward and our residents will see some progress in our parks system. I wanted to let you know of some of the planned improvements we are working on this fall into next spring.

We are working on two stimulus grants from federal funding sources.  One is an ARRA grant to improve and expand the trail system in Ward Park. The project is designed, and should be approved in December to go to bid by January 1st. We will remove the old 4-foot-wide trail and replace with a new 8-foot-wide trail. 

We will also lengthen the trail and connect it to Quarry Road’s new trail into Blue Springs Lake. Using city funds we will also make some repairs to correct and prevent further erosion of the stream bank through the park, and refurbish the existing basketball court.

The second project is an Energy Grant to replace sports field lighting on the Pink Hill baseball fields, and the two softball fields in Keystone Park. 

The Pink Hill Park project will be a simple removal of the old light system and wooden poles and replace with a new more efficient system on steel poles. 

The Keystone Park project will fund the removal of the old lighting system and poles and replace with new lights with steel poles on a reduced 200-foot radius field. City funds will pay for the removal of fences, installation of new fences, backstops, bleachers and paving.  Both grants still are pending final approval. 

We recently completed a park road replacement in Hidden Valley Park.  Next year we will be repairing the parking lots in both Hidden Valley and Keystone Parks. We will be completing and opening the new Disc Golf Course in Wilbur Young Park. Pending joint approval between the School District and City, we plan to make improvements to the existing roof system at Centennial Pool-Plex. 

We have plans to replace some safety canopies in various parks, replace play equipment at the Young Park softball complex and refinish the tennis courts at Rotary Park at Railroad Lake. Most of the above improvements are not major expenses, but will still have a nice impact on the use, safety, and appearance of our park system.  Be watching for our progress, and please excuse our mess as we work through the improvements.