Friends of W.C. Reed Field and Cleveland Parks

Celebrate our neighborhood parks in Northeast Ohio

WC Reed Update from Jackson's Chief of Staff

All,

 

On Monday of this week we presented Mayor Jackson’s 2016 Five Year Capital Improvement Program to Cleveland City Council.  That document includes recommendations of $500,000 in 2016 and $500,000 in 2017 for improvements to W.C. Reed Park.  The Jackson administration will soon submit to Cleveland City Council proposed authorizing legislation for the 2016 recommended projects, including the $500,000 for W.C. Reed.

 

As for 2017, the $500,000 recommendation for W.C. Reed is subject to the reality that we are showing $73.7 million in needed projects with an ability to fund about one-third ($25 million) of that amount.  Nevertheless, both the Jackson administration and Cleveland City Council are fully aware of the importance of restoring W.C. Reed Park.

                Ken Silliman

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Comment by John Baran on February 12, 2016 at 7:31pm
The update from the Mayor’s office was a reply to a message issued on February 10, 2016 by members of the community to the Committees of the Cleveland City Council with a cc to the staff of Mayor Jackson.

A big thank you to all the residents who were part of this message issued below.

To the Council members of the Committees of Finance and Properties:

SUBJECT: Restoration and Improvements for W. C. Reed Park

We request that the City promise of W.C. Reed Park restoration and improvements be accomplished by December 2016. The restoration includes a baseball field, basketball court, playground equipment, sidewalks, parking lot paving, and tree planting to reestablish the missing tree canopy, wanted for its beauty but needed for its air quality, at this treasured community park.

We have been told no funds are earmarked for this restoration and/or improvement and that the Jackson Administration has indicated that this project with park improvements are expected to be part of a 5 Year Capital Plan.

In 2009, $276,000.00 was committed by then Councilman Brian Cummins (Ward 15) for this park improvement. Today, unfortunately, these dollars are woefully short of the estimated total cost, and it appears that no account was earmarked for this purpose.

In 2011, W.C. Reed Park became part of Councilman Joe Cimperman’s Ward 3. Councilman Cimperman continued the quest for park improvements started under Councilman Cummin’s tutelage. A series of public meeting were held to pick features and design for the new and better park the community would receive. At those meetings, long time members of the community continually told City officials that the park was built on a landfill which could hold nasty surprises.

In the fall of 2012, W. C. Reed Park was closed to the public due to soil issues. While closed the U.S. Federal EPA contractors removed all park equipment and most of the park trees. To install a soil barrier to protect the public. The costs of this Federal EPA project has amounted to millions of Federal Tax Dollars.

During public meetings concerning the soil issue and EPA cleanup plans, everyone was led to believe that once the EPA project was completed a new park, fully funded, would be constructed and trees planted. This design plan was made public during the meetings and there was never any “IF” involved as to the new park being constructed when the U.S. EPA cleanup was completed. During the cleanup, W.C. Reed Park became part of Councilman Brancatelli’s Ward 12.

In the spring of 2016, with no signs of complications with the EPA cleanup, the City of Cleveland will take over the management of the park land and be responsible for the new park improvements.

In the four years that W.C. Reed Park project has moved, albeit slowly, this public piece of land has had the oversight of three council people, the surrounding neighborhoods and schools have been without a beloved park, and now, we are told that this parcel may remain fallow for the foreseeable future.

That outcome is unacceptable. We, respectfully ask that the funds needed to complete this promise of a new, improved park be found and that a promise becomes action. An additional 5- year timeline is much too long.

The support and a reply from these Council Committees concerning this matter are requested.

Deeply Concerned,

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