park plan2

Celina City Councilman Mike Sovinski: (Daily Standard Story)

“Well, this is a city park. We’re stuck without any input from the public.”

“Just to get the timing of how this plan is presented to the public out there in a, let’s say, more acceptable manner.”

(7-14-17) Celina City Council Member and a former Safety-Service Director Mike Sovinski expressed his disappointment at the recent council meeting that members and citizens were not shown the design for the Bryson Park District in a more appropriate manner before it was released. Mayor Jeff Hazel and Council President Jason King had knowledge of the design before council members, it is not known who else from the city had reviewed the plan before submitting it to for review.  The design was approved this week by both First Financial Bank and the Mercer County Probate Court and was approved and can now move forward.

Other questions council and the public might like answered will include total cost of the items in the plan and where the funding will come from as the park progresses. Financially will the Bryson Estate help with any of these expenses and process in the future.

  • Plan designed by Bassett Associates of Lima – how were they selected and what is the cost for the plans that were submitted.
  • Harley Jones Rotary Memorial Amphitheater– who did the architectural plans (what was the cost and was it bid out?) for this, what is the estimated total cost of the project, will the grant money cover all expenses.
  • five playground areas – cost to build and equip them, will this be bid out or in-house
  • entry arches – cost and where funding will come from
  • shelter houses – cost to build, equip and design
  • restrooms – cost to build, equip and design
  • a splash pad – who is donating this item
  • low-rim basketball court – cost to build, equip and design
  • re-routing Lakeshore Drive – total cost, including suggested bridge changes

City officials tell council and residents that they should be patient, that the project will take several years to complete.  No word from officials on what the time schedule looks like for the future to complete each individual project, although Mayor Hazel says the Amphitheater will be done this fall.

With the current set-up with the Bryson Estate, which includes the Mercer County Probate Court, the City has only 1/3rd in the final say of what takes place in the park district. Some Council members have concerns about that arrangement for the future.

Does this current 3-way arrangement include the entire park district or only the two parts (Mercelina Trailer Park and the former Versa Pak property )  that Bryson agreed to purchase for the city in 2014.

In a December 2013 Daily Standard article:

Mayor Jeff Hazel

“Bryson doesn’t buy anything. The city buys it, Bryson reimburses because we’re the sole beneficiary of that trust … their form of negotiations is whether they agree to the purchase price or not.”

The Park District is named after Bryson, they have a 1/3rd vote on choices made and they control the purse strings for the future.