ONTARIO ─ More facility upgrades will take place in Marshall Park next year.
On Wednesday evening, Ontario City Council unanimously approved moving forward on two bond sales and issuances. One is for acquiring and installing an HVAC system and generator for city hall at $625,000.
The other, with an amount of $1,875,000, is for several improvement projects in Marshall Park, including installing a new splash pad, turf field, playground and lighting. The maturity of both bonds is 10 years, which means the city will have to pay the bondholders back within that time.
The council’s park committee has discussed upgrading Marshall Park to attract more people to the city. The committee held its meeting at the park on Wednesday to get a better idea about the location of the new facility.
Ontario Mayor Randy Hutchinson said the city plans to close one baseball field on the corner of Milligan Road and Cal Miller Lane and install the new splash pad and playground.
The splash pad will be motion-activated, Hutchinson said, and the water will be recycled, which brings down the cost of the project. The playscape is designed for children of all abilities and includes a wheelchair-accessible merry-go-round.
Sidewalks will be built in the area to make it handicapped-friendly, the mayor said. More parking spaces will be available. The city plans to add some picnic tables and benches, too.
Hutchinson said the ground at the current playscape is not completely flat, so the new equipment can’t be placed at the same spot. The companies that make the apparatuses said they might finish in fall if everything lines up right. All the improvements should be done no later than next spring.
The new turf field will extend the baseball season. Kenn Spencer, director for Ontario Youth Sports, previously told Richland Source the season usually starts in April or May when the fields are not too wet and the grass is not too soft for play.
With the turf field, Spencer said the children might be able to start playing in March. Some soccer practices might take place on the new field depending on how it would be built.
Ontario will start a road relocation project at Marshall Park on June 15. The city will move the south part of Cal Miller Lane slightly to the west, following the Clear Fork Mohican River as close as possible. Current pavement south from Dunlap Drive will be ground out. The parking lot will be moved east of the road, next to the soccer field.
Hutchinson previously said spectators now have to park on the west of Cal Miller Lane and cross the road to the soccer field, which might cause a safety issue.
Ontario service-safety director Jeff Wilson said the contractor estimated the project will take about a month to complete. He said portions of Cal Miller Lane will be closed during that process, but all of the park facilities will be accessible.