Furman, Apollo parks getting new walking trails

DOWNEY – Furman Park and Apollo Park will receive new walking trails after Downey was awarded $600,000 in county grants -- $300,000 for each park. Furman Park will receive a new trail first, with the City Council approving the project’s specifications and authorizing it to be put out to bid.

The trail measures just over half a mile long and loops around the 13-acre park. It will be made of decomposed granite.

Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in September and be completed by December before the start of the Northwest Little League season.

New outdoor stationary fitness equipment will be installed along the trail early next year.

Security lights will be installed if money is left over.

To qualify for the grants, Downey agreed to employ “at-risk” teens to maintain the park trails. Some of their duties will include cleaning the exercise equipment, clearing the trail of debris, doing light landscaping, and replacing pedestrian lights as needed.

In other action, the City Council:

•authorized staff to begin work on making Downey a host city for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games.

The World Games are expected to attract more than 7,000 athletes – plus their families and coaches – to Southern California between July 25 and Aug. 2, 2015.

As a host city, Downey would be responsible for the following:

•50 hotel rooms

•three meals a day, plus plenty of water

•training locations that include a gym, sports field and track

•transportation to and from training centers, and to Los Angeles

•two excursions to local attractions, and potentially a third location if athletes arrive early

•a dedicated person that would assist with coordination and security

•and welcome hosts to assist athletes to their rooms, with baggage, directions and other support.

The total cost to Downey is estimated at $50,000. Coca-Cola has already committed $10,000, and local service clubs and businesses “have expressed their willingness to assist with the coordination and required funding,” city officials said.

Other host towns currently include La Mirada, West Covina, Long Beach, Thousand Oaks and Burbank, among others.

•Banned city employees from purchasing styrofoam products for use in city facilities or at city-sponsored events.

•Extended a consulting deal with Studio Spectrum Inc. as the city prepares to purchase an audio-visual system for City Hall’s council chamber.

The city will begin soliciting bids next week and Studio Spectrum will provide oversight and project management services as the system is installed.

Council members budgeted $150,000 for the total project, although the final cost won’t be known until bids are returned.

Studio Spectrum will be paid $3,100 for consulting services.

•added $78,000 to the city attorney’s budget due to ongoing legal conflicts with Sheila Pautsch and the Downey Firemen’s Association.

Pautsch and the fire union filed a lawsuit in February, challenging City Attorney Yvette Abich Garcia’s ballot label and impartial analysis as “false and misleading,” according to a staff report.

A judge ruled in Downey’s favor, but Pautsch and the union appealed the decision. The matter is now pending in the California Court of Appeal, 2nd District.

Meanwhile, the city is attempting to have its legal fees reimbursed by Pautsch and the union. A hearing is set for Aug. 7.



Published: July 24, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 15