May 6, 2009

Pine Lake advocates seek funding for projects

Pine Lake advocates are growing restive waiting for word from the state on whether plans for a new parking lot and fishing pier will receive funding.

“We’re disappointed we haven’t heard anything,” said Helen Lobaczewski, who has served on the Pine Lake Committee for nearly two decades.

The city asked the state Office of Policy and Management in January for a green light to use $155,000 left over from a dredging project to carry out the project.

There hasn’t been an answer.

“That sort of puts us in a quandary,” said city Councilor Frank Nicastro, a Democrat who also serves as the 79th District’s state representative.

Nicastro said that many projects around the state are on hold – or have been wiped out – as officials search for ways to close an $8 billion budget gap.

“If there wasn’t a financial crunch right now, I think we’d have heard an answer a long time ago,” Nicastro said.

The plan, which has tentative backing from the city’s Park Board, calls for creating a seven-space parking lot off Surrey Drive to the west of the pond.

The Pine Lake panel would also like to have a dock that would allow handicapped people to fish in the pond, which was dredged in 2004 and stocked with fish since then.

A trail around the pond is also possible, officials said.

The state allocated $700,000 for the dredging project, but it wound up costing less. Nicastro said $155,000 remained for Pine Lake and could still be used for the park as long as OPM agrees.

The parking lot would cost between $35,000 and $56,000 annually, city engineers have determined. It will be on the cheaper end if gravel is used and more costly if it is paved.

Pine Lake is located between Birch and Emmett streets. It is bounded on the north by Pine Street and on the south by city-owned swampland.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
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Concerned Conservative said...

We do not need a pier or a paved pot, but a parking lot would be nice.

Anonymous said...

Build piers and parking lots, but not schools: wow, what a vision for the future!

Anonymous said...

Do these Pine Lake people really believe that they're going to get $$$ for such a frivolous project in these economic times??

Someone needs a reality check.

Anonymous said...

What ever happened to fundraising for non essential projects that only benefit a few? Instead of sitting on your duff waiting for taxpayers to fund this, start fundraising! There are many people who do not pay taxes that will use this park let them pitch in to pay for it.

Concerned Conservative said...

The schools are fine the way they are. But Pine Lake is a pubic area that has little accessability. If people want to deny citizens access to this area, then perhaps the city should sell it?

Anonymous said...


Denying access; How?