Sunday, August 5, 2007

Another Article on PP

Thanks to my "news source" for keeping an eye out for media coverage of the Park.
Here is the latest.

Old trees delay Pioneer face-lift
Landmarks panel wants to see if the poplars can be saved
By Rosemary Winters
The Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated:08/02/2007 12:54:46 AM MDT

Renovation of Pioneer Park will have to wait until Salt Lake City's Historic Landmark Commission signs off on the removal of 30 old trees.
The commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to approve the $1.4 million project - save for the lost trees. They asked to see a report prepared by Urban Forester Bill Rutherford before deciding whether the trees should be removed.
During the meeting, Rutherford said he supported taking out the trees, including 16 aging poplars that pose a safety hazard because their limbs are prone to break. Another 14 need to go to make way for a wide boardwalk planned to ring the park's interior edge.
The city plans to plant 68 new trees, mostly ash that can thrive on less water than poplars.
Project manager Dell Cook hoped the commission's ruling won't delay construction, which is scheduled to begin in October after Saturday Downtown Farmers Market closes.
Other park improvements - including benches, two entry plazas and an electrical power upgrade to accommodate the market - are expected to be done before the market return in June.
Although the landmark commission does not control funding for the cash-strapped project, Wednesday's hearing provided a forum to speak out about a now-shelved amenity: a dog park.
Two residents voiced support for an off-leash area at Pioneer.
Amanda Moore, who lives in the Fairpark neighborhood, said an influx of dog walkers would provide the park, often a haven for drug addicts, a safer environment.
"We would love to have [another] dog park on the west side" of the city, she told the commission.
The off-leash area was supposed to be part of this initial face-lift. But Cook said in an interview that the $1.4 million available will not stretch far enough for the $73,00s0 pooch playground - or for new lighting - unless the City Council allocates more funds or if he doesn't have to dive into all the contingency funds built into the budget.
The City Council could fill the gap when it reviews its capital-improvements budget, according to the council's policy analyst Jennifer Bruno. That meeting is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 21.
From 1847 through 1848, the park site was home to the first Mormon pioneer settlement, known simply as "Old Fort."
Esther Hunter, a member of the Historic Landmark Commission, expressed disappointment that educational features planned for Pioneer Park, including a heritage garden, are not part of the present renovation.
Salt Lake City resident Michael DeGroote encouraged the commission to conduct archaeological research at the site to see if the location of any of the fort's original structures can be found.