Athletic fields in Doko Park to undergo renovation

BLYTHEWOOD – After increasing fees for the use of the Doko Park athletic fields earlier this year, council is now in mid-discussion of plans to redesign and upgrade the current fields, possibly adding artificial turf, and designing new fields on property the town recently purchased across McLean Road from the park.

“The purpose of this discussion,” Town Administrator Carroll Williamson told council, “is to provide initial feedback to staff so that we can move forward with the planning of this project.”

The redesign of the current regulation soccer field in the park will include the addition of restrooms, four youth fields, lighting, ample parking near the fields, and possibly movable stadium seating.

A crosswalk will connect the current fields to the newly purchased property across McLean Road where there will be four youth fields, a restroom and parking.

In a 3-1 vote last May, council authorized the property purchase from Wright-Gray Partnership for $250K. Less than half of the 4.5 acre property is usable for fields. A pond and wetlands take up the better part of the top half of the property. Franklin assured council, however, that if the town had not purchased the property, it would have been purchased by someone else.

Councilman Eddie Baughman recused himself from the vote, saying he was friends with the seller.

Councilman Donald Brock cast the lone vote against the purchase, saying that while the town needs fields, he felt the property was way overpriced.

“Considering how much of it is not usable, we paid about $100,000 per acre. That’s a lot of money to pay for an acre in Blythewood,” Brock said.

The current nature trail that circles Doko Meadows is proposed to connect with the new property, circle the pond and the new fields and reconnect with the current trail.

As the fields are proposed to undergo major grading, Mayor Bryan Franklin said some have questioned clearcutting trees on the new property, considering the town’s strict tree ordinance that regulates the neighborhoods.

Franklin justified the tree removal.

“I looked that up,” he said. “Grass and sod put off more oxygen than trees.”

Franklin didn’t know the cost of the project, but a state earmark of $500,000 will go toward the renovation of the current fields, not the new field.

Comments

  1. Bob Massa says

    Why not elevate the walkway over the road, it is much safer. I know it will be more costly, but a law suit is someone is hit crossing the road will negate the cost savings.

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