Sunrise and Dorotea parks will be getting upgrades this year.
At Tuesday evening’s meeting, the Rohnert Park City Council directed staff to move ahead with turning the soccer and softball fields at Sunrise Park into all-weather turf fields.
Sunrise Park is one of the city’s most popular parks, with soccer and softball fields consistently booked for recreational youth and adult league games and practices for soccer, football, softball, lacrosse and other activities.
The opportunity came about because a promised all-weather soccer field was never developed at Sonoma Mountain Village, so the city is considering an alternative plan to use the money to upgrade the fields at Sunrise Park. The plan also includes renovation of the softball field to synthetic turf, but keeping the dirt infield.
Cost for the project is estimated at $300,000, $250,000 of which will be paid by the Codding Enterprises, developer of Sonoma Mountain Village. President/CEO of Codding Enterprises, Brad Baker, said during public comment that this was the first he had heard that Codding Enterprises would not be covering the full cost of the project.
“We would be willing to step up and pay 100 percent of the cost of this,” he said, but later amended this to clarify he would be willing to sit down and talk about covering extra costs associated with the project, since a total cost had not yet been finalized.
The expected increase in demand for the fields could lead to scheduling conflicts, city officials said. Staff and Councilmembers were confident these issues could be resolved, however.
The project was originally presented with a July 31 completion date, but was amended to extend the timeline beyond that date.
New Playgrounds for Dorotea Park
The aging, faded playgrounds at Dorotea Park are being replaced.
The Rohnert Park City Council approved spending $120,000 to replace playground equipment at the 6-acre park with new structures consistent with the look and feel of most of the city’s other playgrounds. Both playgrounds at Dorotea Park will be replaced.
The Council approved the measure as recommended by the Parks and Recreation Commission, which held a public meeting on the subject at Dorotea Park in January. Funding comes from the city’s Infrastructure Reserve.
Councilmember Gina Belforte pulled the item from the consent calendar to discuss it during the City Council meeting Tuesday night. She was dismayed at how “dinky” the playgrounds looked in photos in the staff report. “I looked at this particular park, and I know it’s a neighborhood park... but we don’t have anything really big,” she said. “Maybe it would be interesting for us to look at ‘A’ park in RP for something that would be really exciting for families to attend and play.”
California is one of 15 states that regulates playgrounds, and the only state that regulates maintenance programs for them, said John MacArthur, director of public works and community services. “It really limits what we can put in that small footprint [of Dorotea Park],” he said.
After discussion, the council unanimously approved the item.