The Richmond Register

September 3, 2013

Parks board considers changes to Irvine-McDowell

Collecting rain water may improve Water Street flooding

By Seth Littrell
Register News Writer

RICHMOND — Plans to replace the gazebo at Irvine-McDowell Park with an amphitheater could also include stopping some rain water from flowing into the Water Street area, Parks and Recreation Director Erin Moore said Tuesday.

Moore told the parks board during its monthly meeting that she had talked with representatives of the Planning Department about efforts to make the park better-suited for outdoor performances.

She said a concern raised during that meeting was that water from the street, playground area and parking lot flows down the hill where the gazebo is located onto University Drive and eventually to Water Street.

“One of the things they mentioned was, if we are going to be doing construction in that area, to go ahead and look at where the water is coming from, what the elevations are ... and possibly putting a cistern in beside the amphitheater between the Third Street entrance and the gazebo area,” Moore said.

In theory, the cistern would catch most of the rain water that flows down the hill before it has a chance to reach Water Street. The project would come with a catch though, Moore said.

“In order to do that appropriately, they (planning and zoning) would need a survey before anything at the park is done to show elevations and where the water may be going and what’s underneath it,” Moore said. “So before any work is begun we would have to have that survey.”

She said rough estimates from the city planning staff price such a survey anywhere between $2,500 and $8,000, depending on which engineering company does the survey and how quickly they want it finished. Grants may be available for the project because it relates to flood reduction, but waiting to complete the grant process could take a significantly longer time, Moore added.

The board decided to contact engineers and get an estimate of the cost for the survey before moving forward with the project.

In other business, the board:

• Announced approximate sales and cost figures for Adventure Falls minigolf and Paradise Cove. Moore said Adventure Falls has brought in about $61,000 this year, and will remain open for the month of September and weekends in October.

Paradise Cove, which closed Monday, brought in about $347,000, although Moore said the figure would change because fees for private parties are still being collected. In addition, the pool made  $82,000 in concessions while only having about $40,000 in expenditures.

• Program Coordinator Brittany Toombs announced preparations had been made for Kidsfest, taking place Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The event will feature stage shows, a petting zoo, community booths and a visit from Ronald McDonald, Toombs said.

Seth Littrell can be reached at slittrell@richmondregister.com or 624-6623.