The City of King has experienced a serious problem for several years regarding the condition of its parks, particularly the sports facilities. They have deteriorated due to deferred maintenance, overuse and a lack of available funding and staff to make necessary repairs.
In response, the City developed a Sports Field Improvement Plan, which was adopted by the City Council in late 2018. The City is pleased to report that implementation is ahead of schedule and initial improvements to all fields will be completed by this spring. Due to the shortage of resources, the plan relied on a variety of creative funding strategies, partnerships and prioritization of maintenance activities.
The largest undertaking was the Creek Bridge Soccer Field, which was entirely replaced with new sod. The facility has been renamed Aera Soccer Park in appreciation for a generous donation from Aera Energy to fund the majority of the project. It was recently reopened for use for the fall youth soccer camp, but it is not yet open for games until Covid-19 restrictions are removed.
The San Antonio Park fields are currently closed for improvements, which include weeding, leveling, aerating, reseeding and fertilizing. The fields will reopen in March 2021. It is similar to the renovation that was applied to the Creek Bridge Baseball Park last year, but it is a much larger effort due to the size of the facility. All this work is being performed by City staff.
The City Park Adult Softball Field project was also completed last year. The entire field was removed and replanted, which was a partnership with the Adult Softball League.
The last remaining active sports field in need of improvements is the City Park Little League Field. A project is now underway to replace the entire turf area with new sod using funds from a state grant. The infield will be renovated by Little League volunteers. The project is anticipated to be complete by March 2021.
The next step will be to ensure the fields remain in good condition. To improve future maintenance of the fields on an ongoing basis, the City will be instituting a practice of temporarily closing each field every other year to allow for restoration of the turf. The public’s cooperation will be greatly appreciated.
Meanwhile, the City has obtained $150,000 in grant funding to replace the ramps at the Skate Park at San Antonio Park. This popular youth facility was at risk of closure due to the condition of the ramps. The City Council recently approved a contract for design and construction of the improvements.
The contractor will identify alternative ramp designs and solicit input from local skateboarders on preferred alternatives through surveys and an online public workshop. The project is expected to take place in spring and be completed by summer 2021.
Restroom facilities are also an important park amenity. The restroom at the City Park has been closed for several years due to the deteriorated condition and non-compliance with accessibility requirements. The City was able to fund improvements through a partnership and sale of land with the Salinas Valley Fair.
As a result, bids are now being solicited for renovation and upgrade of the building. Construction is anticipated to be underway by February and completed by May 2021.
The City is trying to take advantage of the limited use of these facilities during the pandemic to make improvements. We hope everyone will soon have the opportunity to enjoy the improved conditions.
For questions or more information on these or other issues, contact City Hall at 831-385-3281 or visit kingcity.com.