Sun, Jan. 26

Finishing Touches
City park expansion almost complete

It has been years in coming, but the payoff has been a home run. The Riverfront Park expansion plan is nearly complete. It has taken over $1 million and plenty of time and sweat. Fields and other facilities are now in use on a daily basis. And it was a bargain. The cost of the special field lighting alone, purchased in 2004, has now tripled three years later.

Parks and Recreation Director Richard Faust updated the Cottonwood City Council during its regular meeting Tuesday. He said the expansion will be completed by August.

The improvements established three new Little League baseball fields, replacing the single Herridge Field at Garrison Park behind the library building. Crews are now completing the fourth tournament-sized softball field at Riverfront Park. Lights from the Garrison Park field have already been moved to accommodate that field. A new concession stand is also in place as part of the Little League complex.

Play was extended into the evening hours with the installation of field lighting for the entire Riverfront Park including the skateboard and roller hockey areas. Work is underway to establish fields for soccer and football on the north end of the park.

Tuesday, the Council also awarded a contract to increase the number of parking spaces available at Riverfront Park. The new parking lot will be built between the softball fields and the skateboard and roller hockey facilities adding another 150 spaces.

Funding for the expansion came primarily from a $556,000 Heritage Fund grant plus $150,000 from Cottonwood, $126,000 from Yavapai County and another $210,000 from business, civic groups and private individuals.

The grant was extended twice when the project lagged. The city also borrowed $520,000 from its capital accumulation fund to finish the project.

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