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Parks fee paying for staff, equipment, redo

A $4-per-month parks fee is already shifting things in the parks department of Keizer Public Works.

In recent months, the department has purchased new trucks, new mowers and hired two additional full-time employees who are already trained and working in the field.

“I’m looking forward to how much additional work we can accomplish,” Robert Johnson, Keizer parks supervisor, told the members of the Keizer Parks Advisory Board at a meeting Tuesday, March 13.

Johnson added that he recently sent off the list of hoped-for improvements at Meadows Park to a designer. In December, the city hosted an info gathering session and invited users of the park to pitch their ideas for improvements.

“We hope to include most of them, and the construction will begin in May and go through September,” Johnson said.

The revamped play area will have two sections, one for kids ages 2-5 and another for ages 5-12. It will include increasing the number of swings from four to six, with a disability-accessible swing, and a spiderweb climbing feature. Paths through the park will be repaved and widened after the play structure is built out.

Board members asked whether the improvements will include a gate at the park entrance along River Road North. Johnson responded he isn’t certain what changes, if any, are forthcoming.

“No decision has been made. One of the issues is that the fence running along River Road makes it look like a private park when we want everyone to use it. A gate would only add to that,” Johnson said.