On June 5th, the Naples City Council approved the acquisition of a 6.7 acre parcel next to the 8.5 acres (see map), owned by the City and currently being used by the sanitation department, which will be moving to a new site north of the Naples Municipal Airport. This will create the largest and the first major park in the City since Cambier and Fleischmann Parks were built. I am very proud of my fellow council members who had a number of concerns, but in the end supported this project.
While there appeared to be a community-wide consensus to acquire the property for a new park, how to actually pay for the acquisition and development has been the subject of some discussions. There were many options considered by City Council, including: raising taxes, borrowing money, using available reserves, and a special assessment upon properties.
City Council approved funding for the acquisition of the property ($3 million) and development of the first phase as a park ($2.5 million). The tentative source of funding is one-half from General Fund Reserves (prior years surplus of revenues over expenditures which comes from the City property taxes), and one-half raised through a one-time special assessment. A special assessment placed on the property tax bill for those who will accrue a benefit from the new park facilities. While the assessment will only apply to residential property owners, a professional analysis has been completed documenting the appropriate methodology for the assessment. Early estimates suggest a one-time assessment of approximately $153.
The assessment program will be designed to provide for this one-time assessment on the November, 2014 tax bill to allow advanced notice of this assessment. The advantage of a special assessment is that all property owners who may benefit by a possible increase in property value from the new park will pay an equal amount.
At the September 16th City Council Workshop, Burton & Associates, a consulting firm for the City, presented a methodology to explain the validity of the assessment. Council had a number of questions and concerns. A decision will be made concerning the assessment at a future City Council meeting. A request for qualifications (RFQ) was developed and advertised to obtain the services of a highly qualified park design firm to develop a master plan for the new park. Eight firms responded with presentations. The Consultants Competitive Negotiation Act (CCNA) Committee selected Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. as their first choice. City Council approved staff to proceed with negotiations with the firm regarding their pricing at the September 18th meeting. This item was brought back to Council for approval at its October 2nd meeting.
On September 18th, Council approved “PRELUDE TO A PARK,” planned for the evening of March 15, 2014, which is a full moon night. To fully develop the park, considerably more than $2.5 million that Council authorized for construction will be required. We will need a strong involvement and financial commitment from the private sector to build out this park. Please put a hold on this date. If you are interested in an invitation or a naming opportunity, please call 239.263.2673.
In addition, there will be a free admission family fun day event on Sunday afternoon on March 16, 2014 from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. The event will provide a venue for the families of our community to see the “Vision” for the new park.
The schedule below outlines what has been accomplished and the plans for all stakeholders, City Council, committees, citizens and staff to be involved in this process:
July 12 – Draft (RFQ) for Park Master Plan Professional
July 19 – Issue CCNA RFQ for Park Master Plan Professional
Services with submittals due on August 20, 2013- completed
August 13 – Agenda Memorandum (AGM): Location of
Gordon River Greenway Bridge Crossing; AGM for approval
of RFQ & Design Process; AGM for approval of Special Event
Application for March 15, 2014 Gala. Brief the Community
Services Advisory Board (CSAB)- completed
August 20 – Open RFQ’s. Distribute to CCNA Selection
August 27 – CCNA Committee to review and rank RFQ
August 28 – September 5 – Design Consultant interviews if
September 6 – Meeting: CCNA Committee Final Selectioncompleted
September 19 – Begin Contract Negotiations with selected
Design Consultant – completed
Planned Time Schedule
October 2 – City Council Meeting: Award of Contract to Design
Consultant – completed
October 14 – City Council Workshop- Joint Council/CSAB/
Design Consultant to discuss park concepts. Presidents’ Council
Meeting/Design Consultant to discuss park concepts – completed
October 15 – Stakeholders/
Design Consultant meetings.
open meeting for public input –
October 16 – Design Consultant
begin draft of conceptual plan
in preparation for Charette(s) –
November 7 – Design Consultant Charette(s).
December 4 – City Council Meeting
December 11 – AGM for December 16, 2013 City Council Workshop:
Conceptual plan(s) developed by Design Consultant from Charettes.
December 16 – City Council/CSAB/Design Consultant Joint
Workshop; Review conceptual plans(s) developed by Design Consultant
December 17 – Design Consultant develops draft Master Plan.
December 23 – Submit applications for Preliminary Design Review
Board (DRB) and Administrative Site Plan Review
January 14 – City Council Workshop. Submit application for
Conditional Use for park facility to Planning Advisory Board (PAB)
and City Council
January 22 – Preliminary Design Review Board (DRB) Review
January 27 – Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board
(CRAAB) review and recommendation of conceptual plan
February 12 – PAB review of Conditional Use Application for park
February 24 – Submit Final Design Review Application for DRB
February 25 – Design Consultant to Submit Revised Final Draft
Master Plan; distribute to City Council
March 5 – City Council Meeting- Design Consultant to present
Final Master Plan for City Council review and approval. City Council
consideration and approval of Conditional Use Application. Discuss
appropriate value for naming opportunities for fundraising.
March 15 – Fundraising Gala. Evening event
March 16 – Post-Gala afternoon family fun day at the park
March 26 – Final DRB Review
I am very excited about this opportunity and request that each of
you become involved as you deem appropriate. If you have any ideas,
suggestions, or comments, please give me a call at 239.248.1550 or
email me at email@example.com.