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Revitalized Ebner Park will be a community gathering place

by: JEFF MCDONALD  - Revitalization plans for the park include a new soccer field and improved softball field, basketball courts and a playground and walking paths that will make the park more accessible for all ages and members of the community. The improvements will be made in the spring and completed by next summer, city officials say.  After a long delay caused by questions about drainage issues, the Ebner Park revitalization project is up and running again in Mount Angel.

The city had hoped to have its $352,580 park project completed this summer with a new soccer field and basketball court, a redeveloped softball field, walkways and a playground, but drainage issues forced the city to hit the drawing boards again, said Mayor Andrew Otte.

“The park design did not include anything that was topographical or any of the engineering to make sure it was going to drain correctly,” Otte said. “In the winter, it almost becomes the city’s swimming pool.”

City officials are well aware of the lack of park options in Mount Angel, Otte said.

“That’s the goal that it will be a place for kids to play,” Otte said. “Hopefully, everybody will use it. There also will be walking trails that will give people a place to hang out.” by: JEFF MCDONALD  - Mount Angel kids play a game of pick-up soccer in the outfield of the current softball field at Ebner Park, which is located off West Marquam and Spruce streets in the west part of town.

After some reworking of the project, city councilors voted last week to hire Eugene-based Cameron McCarthy Landscape Architecture and Planning to complete the specifications of the project before it goes out to construction bid this winter.

“A big concern has been getting good drainage for the park,” said Kelsey Lewis, assistant to the city administrator. “Basically this is a very professional group. We want to put something out there that is so specific that it cannot be misinterpreted.”

The kids in Mount Angel know what fixing up the park would do for them.

“It would be cool because I would get to play more with my friends,” said Eduardo Salazar, 12, who has to travel to Woodburn to play more competitive soccer matches. “We just don’t have soccer fields here.”

The park project is being funded by a $194,688 State Parks and Recreation Grant along with $157,892 in city funding. Pepsi Northwest Beverages also has donated $11,572 over the last three years toward the project, according to the city.

Expect the revitalized park to be completed by next summer.



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