Brewer: Improvements underway at Cheadle Lake Park

By Sarah Brown
Lebanon Local

City Manager Nancy Brewer informed the Parks, Trees & Trails Advisory Committee at its Jan. 18 meeting that plans are brewing for Cheadle Lake Park.
Udell Engineering & Land Surveying is working on a design for accessibility improvements at the park thanks to a $2.6 million grant secured last year by House District 11 Representative Jami Cate (R-Lebanon).
During a March 2022 work session, Brewer shared some ideas generated by city staff that included handicap-accessible res-trooms, walkways and parking lots. At the time, Brewer suggested that the city also secure money from parks system development charges and pursue grants to make other changes in the park — such as building an amphitheater, a concession stand and three full-build baseball diamonds — while working on accessibility improvements.
When design plans are completed, city staff will consider which projects could be completed before a Strawberry Festival, and which could begin directly after, Brewer said (it wasn’t clear whether they expect to begin this year or next), adding that the Strawberry Festival board, community and PTT Committee would have a chance to weigh in on the developments before the city council made a motion to approve the changes.

In other business, the committee:
♦ Welcomed City Councilor Dave Workman to the committee as council liaison; announced that Cindy Kerby and Joe Calderon had applied for vacant committee positions;
♦ Reviewed a letter from the City of Albany regarding discussions of possible trails through Albany-owned property along the canal;
♦ Heard Brewer’s report on the removal of three trees from Maple Street across from City Hall due to root-sidewalk upheaval (the trees will be replaced); and
♦ Reviewed an updated application form for events at Cheadle Lake Park.
Committee member Rod Sell, on behalf of Build Lebanon Trails, asked for the committee’s support to recommend that the city set a minimum standard for bench installations. Namely, BLT would like all benches in parks and along trails to have backs and provide adequate padding (such as a cement pad) from the trail or sidewalk to the bench and surrounding it for the purpose of handicap accessibility.
BLT placed 41 benches along trails and in parks, with another four planned for installation this year. The group found a city-installed bench at River Park on a small cement pad that was not easily accessible for handicapped persons.

Sell also reported:
♦ BLT seeks grant opportunities to improve Riverview Park’s gravel trail base and possibly place a trail ramp at the park to protect the wetland, including armoring the riverbank;
♦ BLT applied for a $150,000 Recreational Trails Program grant and has secured a $138,543 match, but is short $8,943 to complete the funds;
♦ BLT contacted property owners for a potential trail connection from West River Trail to Bromil Street, then to Had Irvine Park;
♦ The city gave BLT approval to repair cracks along the Cheadle Lake North Shore Trail, but the city staff first need to repair a hole beside the trail;
♦ The city and BLT are collaborating to make improvements on the Gill’s Landing Trail, which will mostly be funded through BLT. A request to install three trailside lights is also under consideration;
♦ BLT agreed to fund $20,000 toward the Beaton Lane Trail Improvements, which includes installation of flashing pedestrian lights across Tennessee Road;
♦ The BLT board agreed to provide $20,000 a year for four years to fund a seasonal trail maintenance city staff member.
“We’re just trying to find ways to eliminate that burden of maintenance for the city staff,” Sell said.
According to Sell, City Manager Nancy Brewer told BLT the offer will be discussed during budget season.