A long-standing staple of the Seminole community could be the subject of a major overhaul.
That overhaul decision, however, remains with members of the Seminole City Council.
According to an agenda obtained by the Seminole Sentinel on Thursday morning, the seven-member panel of the Seminole City Council will "consider approval to begin a 3-to-5 year comprehensive plan to renew the M.S. Doss City Park."
The business item is one of three set to be faced by Council members in their regular semi-monthly meeting slated to be held Monday evening at Seminole City Hall. Monday's meeting, which is open to the general public, is slated for a 7 p.m. start from inside the Council's Chambers.
Seminole City Administrator, Tommy Phillips, stated in a Thursday morning interview with the Sentinel the agenda item was placed upon the agenda to help City leaders gain a better understanding of what the Council's future vision of the park should be.
"I just felt it would be best if we had some sort of direction, some sort of plan in place if we plan on doing major improvements to the park," said Phillips.
Recently, City of Seminole Public Works Dept. crews began work on a project to thin and remove several of the facility's elm trees and replace with more eco-friendly tap root trees -- such as live oaks -- to provide more shade coverage and "design depth" to the park, located on one whole city block in the 200 block of N.W. 4th St.
Back on Feb. 10, members of the Seminole City Council heard a presentation from a representative with Kraftsman Playground and Water Parks, who pitched a presentation over the company's aquatic park playground system line.
"We're hoping we can get a better feel on the Council's position, as a whole, on where they stand with the proposed projects for the M.S. Doss Park, and get a more solid sense of direction on where they'd like to see the park go in the future," said Phillips. "This is all going to take time, planning and money to accomplish, and if the Council is serious about these improvements, we need to have a plan in place."
Phillips said the parks planning process is focusing only on the M.S. Doss Park at this time. The City of Seminole maintains several other parks within the Seminole community, including the S.S. Forrest Walking Park, Tri-Corners Park and Pioneer Park.
"Down the line, if the Council feels we need to make major improvements to the other parks, we will take a look at those," said Phillips, who added the M.S. Doss Park has been at the forefront of the Council's focus.
Aquatic Park Pitch
In the Feb. 10 presentation to Seminole City Council members, Pat Kennedy of Kraftsman Playground and Water Parks discussed the company's product line and answered questions fielded from the Council.
According to Kennedy, for an aquatic playground in the 4,000 sq ft range, a $625,000 price tag was quoted in the Feb. 10 presentation, of which $200,000 was devoted to the system's self-contained filtration system. That particular size playground, according to Kennedy, could easily hold "100-plus" children.
"There's no doubt this will bring added activity to your park and you'll see a lot of people come, not only from the local community, but from out of town as well," he said.
Seminole resident Danielle Sims, a Seminole ISD teacher, assistant swimming coach and a manager of the Seminole High School swimming pool during the summer months, told members of the Seminole City Council in the presentation that the addition of an aquatic playground would be an added benefit to the community.
"On any given day during the summer, we have anywhere from 300 to 400 children come to the (Seminole High School) pool," said Sims, who added that while attending college at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, she was employed with the City of Amarillo's parks department at the time nine "splash pads" were installed within that community.
"I am excited to see (the Seminole City Council) taking a look at this and I think it would be great if you could help provide something like this for our community."
Phillips said the issue was brought to discussion on the Feb. 10 regular meeting after members of the Seminole City Council had generally "tossed around the idea" in non-action item discussions of previous Council meetings.
"I felt like the discussions had reached the point that this needed to be placed on the (business) agenda and have a more formal decision made on which direction we (the City of Seminole) need to go," said Phillips, in a Feb. 6 interview with the Seminole Sentinel.
District 3, Place 1 Councilwoman, Michel Powers, has been a vocal supporter of the proposed venture, stating the venture would add to needed "quality of life" needs within the Seminole community.
"I feel we need to do something to our local parks to add to the standards we have with other entity facilities here in town," said Powers in a Feb. 6 interview with the Seminole Sentinel. "We have a lot of people who live here in town and travel to other neighboring towns during the summer to spend time at outdoor swimming pools and water parks. I feel by doing something here, we can provide something fun for our children and citizens to do and help improve our town's quality of life."
According to the company's website, Kraftsman Playground and Water Parks is a Spring-based company specializing recreational play areas since 1981.
The company takes part in the planning, design and installation of new ventures, as well as inspections, upgrades and maintenance of commercial playgrounds and water park equipment.
Some other products installed by the company include safety surfacing, shade covers, and skate parks, to name a few.
Other Council Items Monday
Also on Monday evening, members of the Seminole City Council will face the following business items:
• consider approval of drainage improvements at S.W. 21st St. and S.W. Ave. F; and S.W. 23rd St. and S.W. Ave. E, and;
• consider approval of Martin Addition Plat.
During his administrative report, Phillips will give an update on the following agenda items:
• update on Blaus Wasser water project;
• update on safety signal lights, and;
• update on sales tax allocation report from the Texas Comptroller's Office.