Friday, May 9, 2014

Dunwoody priorities as seen through the eyes of the Purchasing Department - Tree Canopy Obstacle Course / Dog Park / Active Recreation / New Police Vehicles and Warning Sirens in Parks.

Running a city is a complicated business with many intermingled moving parts but reviewing the city purchasing website will sometimes give you a glimpse of how we are serving you, what we are spending your money on and therefore to certain aspect, what our priorities are for improving the quality of life for the residents.  The typical Dunwoody homeowner with a $350,000.00 dollar home pays about $18 per month for all City of Dunwoody services and the City Budget goes into much greater detail on exactly how we plan to spend those tax dollars.

On Monday, the City Council is discussing a proposal for a possible Tree Canopy Obstacle Course at Brook Run Park that would operate at no cost to the city and in fact it would provide revenue as well as an amenity to the visitors of the park.  The proposed obstacle course would be situated in the roughly four acres to the west of the vacant dormitory building. The city would ensure the exact course maintains adequate buffers to protect residential property bordering this part of the park while rejuvenating an underutilized part of our parkland.  The sketch of the proposal is attached here and of course there will be lots of questions at the meeting on details not outlined.    Thoughts?
The City of Dunwoody is again soliciting bids from qualified contractors for Brook Run Park Dog Park Construction at a new location.  Back in December, I attempted to find a workable and less expensive solution to keep the dog park where it is and the Brook Run Dog Park Association presented a serious proposal to operate the facility and mitigate any issues.   The Council quickly compared the BRDPA proposal against a proposed contract to construct a new dog park but walked away from making any decision at that time.  The new dog park contract was deferred in December as Council had questions on cost and location of the proposed new park vs the cost and effectiveness of the proposed repairs to the current park. Several on Council were leaning towards and "hoping" for a compromise and since that time Council member Riticher has joined our ranks but little else has been done.   The City released the latest proposal to again move the dog park for a possible decision as soon as June.   The patrons of the dog park and the Brook Run Dog Park Association members are not pleased with the updated proposal and they are voicing their concerns to council in emails as well as on their Facebook page.   Residents of Lakeview Oaks who live behind the dogpark, as well as the new trail, want the dog park moved therefore Council will be weighing all sides and proposals to make a decision in the coming months.

The admin buildings at the front of Brook Run are coming down and tennis courts, sand volleyball & basketball courts are planned for that area as per the parks master plan but the trail was also placed in some of that space so we will need to see in the coming year what could be proposed for the area.

Touring Brook Run last week I noticed the new trail is really coming along with some sections needing extensive work in order to bring it up to grade, but it is that level of effort that will make it ADA accessible with just minor grade changes that will make it an ideal location for a young child to take a long safe bike ride.   During my stroll, I also noticed what appears to be an expanded section of the Dunwoody Community Garden being installed behind the original space for additional plots. With the new orchard that was installed around the garden, it is really a beautiful place.

Another tidbit shown on the city purchasing website is that the City of Dunwoody will be purchasing 22 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicles as the newest police vehicles for our officers.   The police vehicle currently in use was discontinued and it was decided that the amount of gear carried by our officers, the number of hours spent in the vehicles and the physical size of many of our officers necessitated the larger vehicle.

Finally an email crossed my desk stating that the City is purchasing two Federal Signal outdoor warning sirens with Weather Bug lightning detection to be installed at Dunwoody Park near the baseball fields and at Brook Run Park.   As Council already approved these purchases and they were below the $50,000 threshold for formal bids, the Acting City Manager went with the best product at the lowest price.

1 comment:

GaryRayBetz said...

My brilliant son, Billy Ray Betz, graduates from the University of Georgia today, and as much I want to take credit for his and my five daughters' successes through my inverse role-model parenting paradigm - where I behave in direct opposition to what I want my children to become as adults, I do believe that you, John Heneghan, as well as the rest of the Dunwoody community - his teachers from Chesnut, Peachtree Middle School, Dunwoody High School, his athletic coaches, parents of his friends, and folks from the DNDC where he and his sisters were lifeguards for years, are really the persons that I should thank for his success.

You and the Dunwoody community are the reasons that when I was laid off after over 22 years that I rejected better offers that would have taken me out of state. I wanted my children to grow up in one good neighborhood that had friendly residents of mixed race and nationality and religion, had good diverse schools, and they could have friends as touchstones that they would have known for some 18 to 20 years by the time they leave my home ("a sense of place" - to be trite), before I meander off to a benumbed netherworld after having done my job of caring for them, giving them an education, a sense of responsibility, tolerance and compassion for others, and just as essential - confidence.

So, thank-you Dunwoody for being my children's home, a good home.