City officials presented commissioners an initial concept for the CiCo Park improvements at a Tuesday work session.

Park Improvements have been ongoing since last September. The new concept includes two baseball fields, two softball fields, warm-up areas, concessions and restroom facilities, 8 tennis courts, and parking. The current skate park would likely be removed to make room for improvements, something Karen McCulloh says she doesn’t want to see happen.

“I think a skate park is vitally important,” she said. “When I drive by CiCo, I don’t see people playing much of anything, but I see a lot of skaters.”

Parks and Recreation Director Aaron Stewart suggested a new skate park could eventually be realized in the northeast corner of City Park, but would require additional funding. CiCo Park Improvements Advisory Committee member Gail Urban says funding could potentially come from the recently established parks and recreation foundation.

“The skate park at a $2 million price tag would be a wonderful opportunity for this community to look at priorities that weren’t planned and if we want a skate park, let’s raise the money to build a skate park,” she said.

The new CiCo Park facilities are envisioned to be used for Parks and Recreation programs, traveling teams, sports tournaments, and Manhattan High School athletics. City staff heard from Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 Superintendent Eric Reid, who advised the district is willing to be a financial partner as much as it can be.

“(We) definitely want to be part of the conversation moving forward, understanding that we have skin in the game as it comes out,” Reid said. Originally back when this agreement was kind of pushed forward, our contribution was supposed to be the property, but we also know things change. We want to make this a long term project for the entire community just as well because we’ve got a lot to gain by this,” he said.

One topic discussed Tuesday night was overhead power lines along Kimball Avenue which currently conflict with some of the city’s new proposed sports lighting and fencing at the park.

City staff are recommending burial of those overhead powerlines, which could cost around $800,000 and is not currently a part of the rest of planned CiCo park improvements. Assistant City Manager Wyatt Thompson says this could be achieved through bond and interest payments, then incorporated into the city’s future funding strategy.

“I think anytime we have an opportunity to bury overhead lines we should probably do that, to reduce the risk of it falling over and make things safer,” said Commissioner Peter Oppelt.

Mayor Wynn Butler says if the power lines were not buried, the city might have to incur additional unforeseen costs.

“If you shift these fields, it may drive up the cost $400,000 – half of what it would cost to bury that, so you’ve got to balance that,” he said. “I think generally the commission would prefer they get buried but we want to know the details of the money end of it.”

City staff plan to present a strategy, a guaranteed maximum price and phase 2 contracts at a future meeting. The overall improvements are projected to cost around $13.5 million paid from a 2017 voter approved recreation and trails sales tax fund.

The advisory committee will meet in April and bring back a recommendation in May, with city commissioners expected to vote on it in June. The project is expected to be complete in spring 2026.

The consultant’s presentation, showing concepts, can be viewed below.

1. Staff PowerPoint Presentation 2. Consultant PowerPoint Presentation

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