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San Luis council hears public appeals for park improvements
SAN LUIS, Ariz. — Public parks rank high on San Luis residents' list of priorities.
And city officials say they understand the importance residents place on neighborhood parks. Problem is, the city has grown in recent in recent years, and City Hall has limited funds for upgrades at all the parks that have sprung up in San Luis.
That was the message several city council members and the city's parks and recreation director had for residents of Section 9A of Bienestar Estates, a subdivision developed by the Comite de Bienestar housing organization.
Residents there recently provided city officials with a petition with the signatures of 142 neighborhood members appealing for playground equipment, benches, shade, lighting and other equipment in what doubles as a flood control retention basin and as a park for about 300 families in the area.
“I think parks are a very important thing,” City Councilman Joe Harper told 9A residents in a recent neighborhood meeting that was also attended by council members Gloria Torres, Maria Ramos and Matias Rosales and city Parks and Recreation director Chris Kasid.
“But,” Harper added, “you are not the only ones asking (for park upgrades). Requests have been made by (residents) in Section 8A (of Bienestar Estates), and now here. We are going to see what we can do.”
Kasid said the city budget earmarks funds for planting turf and vegetation but has little left over for many of the projects sought by residents.
“We have about $85,000 in the maintenance budget, and that's almost $30,000 more than last year. But that doesn't include things like ramadas or what they are asking for now. That has to be a separate project.”
But Section 9A resident Maria Alegria, who organized the meeting with city council members, said residents are getting impatient.
“We have been asking for it since last year. At times we feel like we are being ignored (by City Hall). The time has come for something to be done here.”