City Council holds public hearing on Depot Park improvements

By Megan Kelley
Clarkston News Editor
CLARKSTON — During its meeting on March 11, the Clarkston City Council held a public hearing to gauge the public on their thoughts on potential additions or changes in Depot Park.
The Clarkston Area Optimist Club has been strong supporters of Depot Park, donating money to improvements and additions throughout the years.
“If they continue to possibly offer money to make further improvements there has been a plan to put things in; things like pavilions. There’s been a plan to put a boardwalk in, some lighting, sound systems, an entrance arch,” said Mayor Sue Wylie.
Last year, the city unveiled a five year plan for improvements to the park after the Optimist Club pledged to donate $65,000 total for improvements over the next two years.
However, at a meeting in February, the council voted unanimously to return $25,000 to the Optimist Club after club leadership requested the money be returned due to the uncertainty of ongoing improvements to the park.
“Given that a public forum is being considered that would determine the use of these funds, our Board of Directors is requesting a return of said funds in light of possible delays while public consensus is being sought. In our opinion, such action would also benefit Friends of Depot Park in alleviating pressure to meet unknown community expectations,” said Optimist Club President Deb Berry in a letter to council dated Feb. 1.
With the question of what exactly the plans are for Depot Park still up in the air, the Optimist Club was in attendance to understand what residents could potentially like to see for the park in the future.
It was a relatively even split when it came to opinions on potential changes or additions to the park.
Several residents and non-residents spoke in favor of added improvements including more lighting and more playground equipment for older children.
While several people in attendance were in favor of improvements, there were some residents who raised concerns about disruption to the swamp life if there were to be a new boardwalk put in and concerns that “building up” the park will increase traffic in the downtown area.
With the information gathered at the public hearing, it is expected that both the Optimist Club and the city will take the feedback from residents and non-residents and decide how best to move forward with Depot Park.
Council did not take any action after the public hearing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.