City Hall

Liveblogging Today's Parks and Rec Meeting

All kinds of folks are crammed up in City Hall's sixth-floor Parks and Rec meeting room -- ladies who lunch, guys in suits, city officials and, of course, some dude who stinks pretty bad. It's so full some people are actually standing in a storage closet.

Plenty of stuff to cover. But first, this highlight: After a presentation on the Rochester Park levee redo, some blond woman danced into the room singing a version of "In The Good Old Summertime." A capella. I am not even kidding you.

It's probably better for all of you that I didn't catch her name, because I was too busy suppressing the urge to crawl under my chair.

Usually, my second-hand embarrassment at City Hall is reserved for Carolyn Davis, but Parks and Rec is going all Parks and Rec with the awkward today. Then they ended a video presentation with a video about the Bahama Beach city swim park soundtracked by Peter Bjorn and John. I don't even know what's real any more.

OK, down to business.

While the proposed sale of the Samuell properties seems to be garnering the most attention on Unfair Park as of late, Bobsky did apprise you of the rest of the items on today's agenda -- multimillion-dollar golf course redos, an Arboretum parking garage, and what just wrapped a few moments ago: an update on the Rochester Park reconstruction.

Kevin Craig, mustachioed director of the Trinity River Corridor Project from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (never let a man without a mustache in charge of your safety), presented a PowerPoint rundown of the Rochester levee project, which is already underway and where "there is wildlife enjoying those wetlands now." Which is an interesting way to describe some of the folks I've seen hanging around down there.

The Rochester Park plan is scheduled to be complete in October 2011, just in time for the swingin' early winter picnic and swimming season. "We're getting a tremendous amount of flood protection in this area," said Craig, and it "will certainly be able" to accommodate FEMA levee certification requirements. It'll cost $10-$15 million, and Craig said they'll advertise the contract in September.

Then, it was time for questions from the board. First up, Taylor Brannon and his neatly trimmed goatee. The facial hair today at this thing is top-notch, guys. Anyway, what Brannon said: He inquired as to the cost of the Rochester Park project to the Parks and Rec department (none, directly) and municipal street shut-downs (lots, kind of.)

Jean Milligan wanted to know about draining the lake and taking the fish out, which is part of the plan. How will it be refilled again? "We're investigating that," said Craig, whose plan apparently includes hope and prayer: "We're anticipating that mother nature will refill it." Mmm. Reassuring.

And now on to agenda item two: summer programs.