The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local news

February 13, 2013

Steve Kime interview with Joan Riley

ENID, Okla. — Steve Kime, director of marketing and public relations for the city of Enid sat down and talked with Assistant City Manager Joan Riley about the upcoming March 5 Quality of Life Initiative that focuses on parks and recreation.

Question 1: On March 5, the citizens of Enid will be voting on a bond proposal that would generate $50 million in revenue to upgrade the city parks system. The term “quality of life” has been used in the discussion. Is this about parks or about quality of life for the citizens in Enid?

Answer: This vote is all about quality of life. It’s about building a city that residents want to live, work, play and raise a family in. Enid has been moving toward this goal for several years — focusing on economic and retail development, infrastructure needs, technology and revitalization of our downtown. This initiative brings us to an awareness of the need to provide opportunities for healthier lifestyles, wellness and activities outside of our homes.

Question 2: According to education officials, 500-plus elementary school-age children have been introduced into the Enid school system. How does this bond proposal impact them?

Answer: Some feel we have adequate parks and sports fields, yet it is a struggle to accommodate all the leagues for playtime and especially for practice times. As our fastest growing age group (being elementary children) joins leagues and wants to play sports, this problem becomes greater.

Question 3: In this proposal, there is the creation of new parks. Why do we need new parks?

Answer: The City of Enid asked Howel and Vancuren Inc. of Tulsa to do a study on all of our park and recreation facilities and report back to us — good and bad — and then help us by creating a Master Plan for us to use in our decision-making going forward. They look at every park and its relationship to neighborhoods and the community as a whole. The result was that we were well covered in neighborhood parks with the exception of the northeast and the northwest sections of town. The northwest area can be solved with a neighborhood park built across the street from Prairie View School, and the northeast is another area but land has not been identified. The community parks identified consist of the Central Park area leading up to the downtown area from Garriott. The other park identified would replace South Government Springs. And it would also be the location of an aquatic center replacing Champlin Pool, a park and recreational facility and a potential community center.

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