July 2, 2019
MAYOR TO ASK CITY COUNCIL TO DEVELOP DUKE PARK
Mayor Beamish and his staff, with the support of the Park Board, completed a Parks Master Plan survey in 2018. Although the results are still being analyzed, responses have been overwhelmingly positive about supporting improvements to Duke Park, including baseball and softball fields, soccer fields, the addition of an 18-hole miniature golf course and, as a pleasant surprise, a splash pad.
A group of interested stakeholders approached Mayor Beamish, Mayor-elect Robin Oda and City Auditor John Frigge about supporting an initiative. Their message was clear that Troy’s youth have suffered through yet another season highlighted by flooding at Knoop Fields, with many practices and games cancelled this spring. The group also emphasized that Troy families clearly see Duke Park as the crown jewel of Troy’s park system and want more amenities and recreational activities there.
Mayor Beamish, Mayor-elect Oda and Auditor Frigge made it clear that the improvements should:
1. Be limited to Duke Park only;
2. Have the majority of the costs funded by current revenues and resources, with any new request limited in duration and amount;
3. Have the support and buy-in from our community partners, including the Park Board, Recreation Board, Troy Soccer Club, and Troy Junior Baseball organization; and,
4. Include staff support to ensure the on-going success of the amenities once constructed.
To cut costs and realign the priorities and needs of new baseball/softball fields, the twelve-field complex proposed in 2017 is recommended to be decreased to a six baseball/softball field configuration, with the ability to add additional fields at a later date. A new 18-hole miniature golf course, splashpad, park maintenance building and concession/storage areas would be added in the central part of Duke Park. Finally, three large soccer fields and another park entrance would be added to the south.
“These are the types of visionary ideas that Troy has long been known for. In my 16 years as Mayor, we have been very careful to emphasize safety, cultural events and recreational activities as amenities to attract a strong workforce. Here is a unique opportunity to use those funds to offset two-thirds of the costs of improvements that will further cement Troy’s reputation as a premium destination to live, work and visit,” stated Mayor Beamish.
Mayor-elect Oda agreed: “The Troy we are experiencing today is the result of people in the past looking forward and planning for us. We have the opportunity to do the same now, with community input. This plan has been significantly pared down from the previous proposal, and yet accomplishes many of the same goals - recreation for generations of families to enjoy together and individually through the years, starting now. It addresses the current needs, timing, and wishes expressed in the public survey. I'm looking forward to upcoming discussions regarding the development of the Duke Park property. Investing in our community and families... the most important commodities we have."
Mayor Beamish will request City Council review the committee’s recommendations as soon as possible. Further information and details are available by contacting the Mayor’s Office at (937) 335-1725.