An impending face-lift to Dillon Town Park could include the construction of a pavilion, multi-purpose athletic fields or updated playground equipment, according to the most popular wish list ideas voted on by residents.
On Thursday, close to 50 locals attended the first of at least two community open houses at Dillon Town Hall to participate in drafting the town park master plan. The open house was led by consultants from Zehren and Associates, Inc., a design firm with offices in Avon and Santa Barbara, Calif., and Ceres Plus, Inc., which has offices in Silverthorne and Eagle.
Also attending the meeting were Dillon elected officials and members of the local Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee.
The purpose of the two-hour event was four-fold and residents were invited to comment about a variety of park topics, including existing conditions, the appropriateness of some of the proposed improvement projects, wish list projects not yet considered and concerns about some of the existing ideas.
In addition to filling out surveys, residents were given five round stickers and asked to rank some of the proposed projects in order of highest priority. Although the data collected during the open house won’t be available until the next community meeting, tentatively scheduled for July 9, there were four projects that clearly stood out as community favorites.
Among the top votes was the construction of a pavilion, a multi-purpose athletic field or a facility to host a variety of community events, such as yoga, outdoor movies and 5k runs. The purchase of new playground equipment also ranked high among members of the community.
Despite the construction of a pavilion being the overwhelming favorite, Rick Giamanco, a Summit County resident for 20 years and member of the advisory committee, said he’d prefer to see more open space and joked that the park would benefit from fewer buildings in the area.
“I’d like to see more landscaping and grass for picnics and family-friendly events,” Giamanco said. “We have plenty of natural fauna all around us, but what we need is a real park.” In fact, “we should get rid of town hall and the fire department and make that (a) park too.”
Although the town park master plan gained traction recently, this is not the first time Dillon residents have discussed much-needed upgrades, said Dillon town manager Joe Wray. Park improvements have been a topic of conversation on at least one occasion during the last several years, but the project was tabled to address more pressing town issues.
The project again picked up speed in May when Dillon Town Council approved hiring Ceres Plus, Inc. to serve as a consultant for the project. The council approved a fee of $30,000 for their participation.
Dillon Town Park is located near Dillon Town Hall along the north side of Buffalo Street, between Lake Dillon Drive and LaBonte Street. The park features four public tennis courts, a playground, bocce ball courts, a baseball field, a picnic shelter with grills, restrooms, a volleyball court and walking trails.
I’d like to see more landscaping and grass for picnics and family-friendly events,