Also Wednesday at the CURA board meeting, Dave Gilmore of GAI Consultants said it probably doesn't make sense to add a walking track to the first phase of construction of the East End park off Dixie Street.
GAI is waiting for the results of further tests of contaminated soil near the railroad tracks at the rear of the site, including soil under the future track, he said. Tests in 2008 showed small amounts of creosote and metals typically found near railroads.
It may still be possible to add the $20,000 track in Phase 1, Gilmore said. "Our biggest concern was we didn't want to build the trail and have to rip it out later."
Board member Karen Haddad asked what kids would do at the park. "I don't see any fun aspect."
Future phases include a sprayground and skate park, Gilmore said. "Certainly those need to be funded somehow."
Board member Diane Strong-Treister asked where the money would come from. "How do we get to Phase 2? Are you raising funds?"
East End City Councilman Marc Weintraub, chairman of council's Urban Renewal Committee, said the project highlights tensions.
"When we approve urban renewal plans, I think it's this board's responsibility. The city doesn't have the resources to do this. There's no pot of money at the city to pay for it. But it will become the city's responsibility to maintain the park when it's built, and to shut the gates at night."
Lew Tyree said Weintraub made a good point: "CURA is here, and we should be the one that should be orchestrating and driving that train. I've not been here that long but I haven't embraced that yet."
Board lawyer Joyce Ofsa said traditionally, it's up to CURA to execute some, but not all, projects in its urban renewal plans.
"If you read each plan," Weintraub said, "you can see which projects you need to take the lead and which ones you need to light a fire under.
"There's no one in town that has the job of developing parks. That's an area where CURA drives the bus. Streetscape -- that's where CURA drives the bus."
Reach Jim Balow at ba...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.