Albemarle County Working to Renovate Parks

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Darden Towe Park in Albemarle County Darden Towe Park in Albemarle County
Ann Mallek Ann Mallek
Mike Svetz Mike Svetz
Darden Towe Memorial Park Darden Towe Memorial Park

Albemarle County is working to spruce up its 4,000 acres of parks.

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors has teamed up with Phoenix-based consultant Pros Consulting to develop a renovation plan based on suggestions submitted by folks in the community.

“You know the only way that you're going to maximize utilization of the system is simply to meet and provide amenities and opportunities that meet peoples' needs,” said Mike Svetz with Pros Consulting.

“There are a lot of people who would like to bike to work and live in a place by choice so that they could do that, but there are places where we run out of trail or we run out of sidewalk and it’s not safe at the moment so the assessment will help identify those missing links,” supervisor Ann Mallek said.

Along with biking and running trails, data shows people want improved athletic fields and more parks in the development areas.

“A lot of our existing parks are very heavily trampled because of lots of hot feet playing on them, and they need refurbishing and resurfacing of playing fields. Expansion of playing fields has been a topic the whole eleven years I've been on the Board,” said Mallek.

Pros Consulting is also advising Albemarle County to increase staff at the Department of Parks and Recreation so that maintenance will be more manageable.

“There’s over 4,000 acres in the county's park system and there’s 18 employees only to be able to manage and maintain the system,” Svetz explained. “As your system ages, it typically needs more resources - more staff - to repair and maintain it in addition to doing kind of preventative maintenance.”

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors is expected to begin allocating funding for projects in the budget for fiscal year 2019-20.

Pros Consulting will be back to meet with the county in June.

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